If you ever plan on going to Kovalam, particularly visiting the Azhimala temple there, you will be greeted to Kerala’s tallest Shiva Statue, a piece of brilliance. Located on the cliff of Azhimala beach, this 58-feet tall Gangadhareshwara Shiva structure was built by PS Devadathan who dedicated six years of his life building it from scratch.
Devadathan, a native of Azhimala, started working on this project at the age of 23 while graduating in fine arts. The temple administration, committee members, and the chief priest had given him the freedom to experiment with the structure while maintaining the sanctity of the place. Growing up in and around Azhimala, Devadathan has always felt deeply connected with the nature surrounding the place. Much of his artistic influence has been inspired by the beauty of Azhimala. He wondered how he could add on to the beauty of the place. That’s when he visualised the idea of sculpting a Shiva statue and created a rough design. From then on, he knew it was his mission to create the Gangadhareshwara Shiva structure.
Why Shiva, you may ask? Shiva is symbolic of prosperity and positive energy. And that’s the kind of impact Devadathan wanted to bring to Azhimala.
Kerala’s tallest Lord Sri Shiva’s statue at Azhimala, Vizhinjam, Thiruananthapuram, will be dedicated to the devout Hindus, on December 31 st. Aum Nama Shivaya. Har Har Mahadev. pic.twitter.com/vvvTzMgVuC— V.GOPALAKRISHNAN. SAVE BHARAT, VIA HINDU DHARMA. (@TRILOKHNATH) December 20, 2020
According to ANI, Devadathan had to keep in mind the environment in which the structure was being built. Since it is located in an area that has salt in the air and water, the structure had to be made resistant to it. Devadathan shared, “I did complete research after finishing the drawing and 3D images. It has built-in rock, so we have checked the density of the rock, wind load, and calculated the weight.”
One of the challenges he had faced while crafting the structure was to make it as close as possible to the idealitistic image that people had of Shiva. The 29-year-old shared, “People had an imagination of Shiva in their mind. We cannot make changes to it. A visual impact is more than words. There is a connection between visual and emotion. I have tried to mix emotion in the mind of the visitor and help to feel positive.”
Kerala’s tallest Shiva statue is here to stay, and maybe, you should go pay a visit to see it.