THIRUVALLUVAR STATUE - KANYAKUMARI
The Thiruvalluvar Statue is a massive statue of 133 feet (40.6 m) tall stone sculpture of the ancient Tamil poet and philosopher. He accounts for the credit of the creation of the Thirukkural.which has been considered as the international book of wisdom. The statue stands majestically over a 38 feet pedestal which denotes the 38 chapters of virtues in the Thirukural. The pedestal on which the statue of Thiruvalluvar stands represents Wealth and Pleasures, signifying the fact that wealth and love can be earned and enjoyed with the strong foundation of solid virtue. The 3 tier pedestal termed as Atharapeedam is surrounded by an artistic Mandapam known as Alankara Mandapam with 38 feet height. Surrounding the Alankara Mandapam stands 10 Elephants statues signifying 8 directions, with earth and space down. The father of Sri Rama, the hero of Ramayana was called Dasaratha as he was able to charioteer in ten directions. To help the tourists to worship the holy feet of Thiruvalluvar 140 steps are constructed inside the Mandapam. The pedestal with a height of 38 feet represents the 38 chapters in the Book of Aram in Thirukural and the statue of 95 feet on the pedestal represents the total chapters in Porul (70 chapters) and Inbam (25 Chapters). Thus the statue symbolically and artistically signifies that the theme of Porul and Inbam are based on Aram.
The total height of the statue and the pedestal is 133 feet, signifying the 133 chapters in the Thirukural. A dancing pose of the ancient Indian deity Nataraja is reflected at the waist of the massive statue that has a slight bend.
The foundation stone for the statue was laid by the then prime minister, Morarji Desai during 1979... Five hundred sculptors were engaged for this work under the able guidance of Dr. Ganapathi Stapathi and the sculpting work began on September 6 in1990 in a small island very close to Vivekanda rock Memorial and the remaining work was completed in 1999. However the project was completed on January 1, 2000 and it was a great dedication of several workers, sculptors, assistants, and supervisors. The slight bend near the waist created a difficult situation. But Dr. V. Ganapati Sthapati analyzed the problem and solved it by constructing a complete length of wooden prototype before construction. Currently, it has been found out the existence of an energy line (Vastu) in the center of the statue from top to bottom that enables the statue to survive from any earthquake of unexpected magnitude. The stone task was divided between three workshops. That is Kanyakumari, Ambasamudram, and Shankarapuram. Ambasamudram contributed 5,000 tones of stones while Shankarapuram contributed 2,000 tones of granite stones. The largest of the 3,681 stones weighed over 15 tons; the majority weighed three to eight tons. A significant detail is the 19-foot-high face, with the ears, nose, eyes, mouth, forehead all made of individual stones carved by hand. Stumps of Palmyra tree and poles of casuarinas (ironwood) were used for scaffolding. It took 18,000 casuarinas poles tied together with two truckloads of ropes to reach the top of the statue. At last the statue was inaugurated on 1st January 2000 by Dr. M. Karunanidhi, the then chief minister of Tamilnadu.
Details of the statue are given below:
Height of the statue - 95 ft