Karnataka will soon have a giant statue of Kempe Gowda, the ruler who is considered to have founded what is now the city of Bengaluru. The statue will be put up at the international airport in Bengaluru at a cost of Rs 66 crore, the state's BJP government said on Friday.
At 108 feet, the statue will be as tall as a 10-storey building though much smaller than the Sardar Patel statue of unity in Gujarat and the Shivaji statue in Maharashtra. A replica will be unveiled tomorrow, said the state's Deputy Chief Minister Ashwath Narayan, who called the statue a "long-pending demand of the people of Karnataka".
A board that has been managing the restoration and protection of Kempe Gowda monuments in the state will oversee the statue.
It will be ready in a year, said the minister.
"The erection of a Kempe Gowda statue was a demand which we are going to fulfil. We will have a simple ground-breaking ceremony on his birth anniversary tomorrow. By the next birth anniversary we will have a statue erected in the international airport," Mr Narayan said.
The project cost includes a 23-acre park at the international airport.
The contractor behind the Statue of Unity has been roped in for the Kempe Gowda statue.
The Statue of Unity on the banks of the river Narmada near Vadodara, which is 790 feet (240 metres) tall, was built at a cost of Rs 2,989 crore and inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018. Currently the world's tallest, it is twice the size of the Statue of Liberty.
The sculptor of the Statue of Unity, Ram V Sutar, has been involved in several such projects.
A Shivaji statue off Mumbai will be the tallest in India. The "Shiv Smarak", depicting the renowned warrior king on horseback, will stand 695 feet (212 metres) tall when completed. The deadline is next year.
A statue of Lord Ram in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh is another colossus in the making, at a cost of Rs 450 crore. It will be taller than the Shivaji statue, say officials.