The tallest statue of Shiva ever built has been inaugurated in the town of Nathdwara, Rajsamand city, in India’s northern state of Rajasthan. The statue, called “Viswas Swaroopam” or the “Statue of Belief”, is 369 feet (112.47m) tall, making it the fourth tallest statue in the world, just 3 metres shy of the third place (Laykyun Sekkya statue of Buddha in Myanmar).
At the inauguration ceremony, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, preacher Morari Bapu and Rajasthan Assembly Speaker C P Joshi were present. To celebrate the new monument, a series of religious, spiritual and cultural events started on 29 October and will last until 6 November.
World's tallest Shiva statue in Nathdwara, Rajasthan. pic.twitter.com/DOaYY2szB4— Vedic Woman (@Vedic_Woman) January 2, 2023
“In the presence of countless devotees and listeners, spiritual masters and many distinguished and honourable guests, the 9-day inaugural festival of Vishwas Swaroopam begins”, reads the tweet form the monment’s account.
The Hindu God’s statue was envisioned by Madan Paliwal, the founder of the Miraj Group, who wanted to put Nathdwara on the map of world tourist attractions. The foundation of the statue and surrounding complex was laid in August 2012, but construction work only started in early 2016.
I always wanted to make my native place so incredible that its presence shines on the world map and with the Statue of Belief I could see my dream coming true!Madan Paliwal, Founder, Miraj Group
Building the monument required 3,000 tonnes of steel, 250,000 cubic tonnes of concrete and 3,000 tonnes of iron. The surface of the statue has been coated with zinc and finished with copper to increase its longevity, the monument’s official website saying it is built to last over 250 years. Moreover, it can withstand winds of up to 250 km/h and earthquakes of Zone IV intensity, even though Nathdwara is only in a Zone II.
The construction is fitted with four elevators and 3 staircases for visitors to reach the viewing galleries at 270 feet (82 metres) and 280 (85 metres) feet above ground. A water jet at the apex of the statue represents the Holy River Ganga, flowing from Shiva’s Jata (matted hair).
The complex surrounding the Statue of Belief features a Mediation Room, Visitors’ Room and VIP lounge, as well as an amphitheatre, musical fountain food court, handicraft shops and an amusement park for children.