Monolithic Buddha Statue, Hussain Sagar, Hyderabad
Monolithic Buddha Statue
Hussain Sagar, Hyderabad
The giant monolithic statue of Buddha stands on a island in the middle of the Hussain Sagar Lake in Hyderabad, Telangana.
The statue curved out of a single rock is a brainchild of former chief minister of unified Andhra Pradesh, N T Rama Rao (NTR). NTR was highly impressed by the Statue of Liberty, during his vist to New York, USA and wanted something similar in Hyderabad.
NTR said “I wanted something like that … That would have been my contribution to society.”
He chose to depict Gautama Buddha because “he was a humanitarian who told the whole truth to the people. It is our pride.”
The statue, a monolith, was to curved out of a single piece of rock. After a long search a suitable rock was found near near Raigiri, Bhongir (Nalgonda District). It was a huge white granite stone located on a mountainside 46 km outside Hyderabad.
In October 1985 the work on the Buddha statue was officially inaugurated by NTR. The project was executed by temple architect and builder S.M.Ganapathi Sthapati. The project took five years and costed a staggering 3 million US$.
The statue stood at 58 feet (18 m) and weighed 350 tons, making it the world’s tallest monolithic statue of the Buddha.
A concrete platform was created at the centre of Hussain Sagar lake for the erecting the giant monolith and was christened Rock of Gibraltar.
The statue was completed in 1990 (NTR was ousted in 1989) and was ready to be installed on the lotus shaped pedestal, constructed on the Rock of Gibraltar.
ABC Limited, a local company, was given the responsibility of transferring the statue onto the concrete platform, at the middle of Hussain Sagar Lake. Using a trailer vehicle, the statue was brought to the shore of Hussain Sagar.
On 10 March 1990, company workers shifted the statue on top of a barge, but sadly it was not a smooth sailing for the giant Buddha statue.
After travelling only about 100 meter in the lake the statue tipped and fell in the lake, the impact killed 10 people.
After two years of salvage operation the monolithic Buddha statue was finally pulled out of the lake and installed on the lotus shaped pedestal on the Rock of Gibraltar.
Today the statue is reached by a 15 minute boat ride from Lumbini Park, located on the banks of the Hussain Sagar lake.
The entire man made island is beautifully decorated with manicured lawns and landscaped gardens. At the centre of the island stands the giant Buddha monolith on a lotus shaped pedestal.
The pedestal itself is beautifully decorated with statues and lions and amazing bass relief sculptures depicting the life of Lord Buddah. The statue is lit up during the night with multi coloured lights.
Also APTDC has a number of hotels en-route:
- Taramati Baradari, Hyderabad (Ph: 040 2003 o352, M: 0 98488 27102)
- Yadagiri Gutta (Ph: 08685 237217)
- Ramappa (Ph.: 0871 5200200, M: 0 99481 00450)
- Laknavaram (0 88970 65307)
- Kalyani, Consultant Sales and Marketing, APTDC
- Dr. P. Jogi Naidu, Dy. Director (Retd.), Archeology and Museums, AP
- Kiran Mehata and Sunil Vidayanatahn my fellow FAM tour participant
- Santosh our driver
- All the staff of APTDC