The making of the Bose statue: a 280-ton rock, 45 people, 75 days
On June 10, Yogiraj and his team of 45 embarked on the formidable task of giving shape to a block of rock weighing 280 tonnes in 75 days. And they succeeded, except for the finishes.
On Saturday, after a whirlwind few months, the 38-year-old sculptor told The Indian Express that he was now looking forward to returning home to Mysuru and relaxing for a while. “I’ve lost weight, I haven’t slept much, I need to relax a bit,” he says.
“Even if the deadline was very tight for such a massive project, sometimes you have to go back. The delay, in fact, gave us a great boost,” says the sculptor. His team of 45 included stone artisans from Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan. “No machines were used to carve the 28-foot statue and all work was done using hand tools,” he says.
Yogiraj says the hardest part was turning the stone over. “Sometimes it took two days and we had to wait patiently while fearing losing man-days.”
While he didn’t find any particular feature particularly difficult to cut out, Yogiraj says he always had to keep in mind that while different people might be working on different aspects or features, it had to come together as a cohesive whole. .
“Once I was given the project, I left all my commissioned work or put it on hold to focus all my energies on this project of national significance,” he says. “Not only myself, several of my artist, sculptor friends also left their work at hand and helped me to shape this rock. After all, we had to find Netaji in this rock, and it was not easy.
While the sculpting part was executed by Yogiraj – who had previously sculpted the idol of Adi Shankaracharya at Kedarnath – NBCC was given the responsibility of executing the assembly of the final statue, weighing 65 tons, without causing any harm. damage to the heritage structure of the canopy. .
Sources say the model has been approved by the Prime Minister’s Office out of two or three options. A budget has also been set for the sculptor and for the supply of granite stone and other logistics.
While the statue was announced by the Prime Minister earlier this year on January 21, it took a long time to finalize and procure the stone for the same. “We researched extensively for four to five months to finalize the stone, as we needed to check parameters like density, size, strength and porosity, and whether it will be easy to chisel or cut, and how long the stone can stay the same shape,” says Rajat Mehta, director of Delhi-based Granite Studio India, which the company has been given responsibility for. “So after 4-5 months from where we started in January, we shortlisted 2-3 careers with Adwaita Gadanayak, Director of the National Gallery of Modern Art – one in Chhattisgarh, one in Karnataka and a third in Telangana (which has been finalized)”
“After that, we started the extraction process. Small samples of granite blocks from the same quarry were sent to the carving site in May to show them to the sculptor, the sculptor and all the artists,” Mehta explains. Sources say that Mehta’s company received certain parameters – the stone had to be jet black, the grain had to be fine. There should be no pattern, deviation or variation.
But the hardest part was transferring the block from Telangana to Delhi. “Transporting this type of block was the biggest task ever in history in a period of 12 days,” Mehta says, adding that generally a time frame would be 40 to 45 days for this type of transport. . Once in Delhi, the truck waited a whole day outside the NGMA – the carving site – as it could not enter.
Mehta’s company has previously worked with the government on the National War Memorial.