Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the 216-foot tall 'Statue of Equality', honouring the 11th-century Hindu saint Ramanujacharya. "This statue of Ramanujacharya ji is a symbol of his knowledge, detachment, and ideals," he said.
According to the Prime Minister's Office, the Statue of Equality commemorates Ramanujacharya, who promoted the idea of equality in all aspects of living including faith, caste and creed.
"Today Ramanujacharya ji is giving us the message of equality in the form of a huge Statue of Equality," said the Prime Minister.
The statue is made of 'panchaloha', a combination of five metals: gold, silver, copper, brass, and zinc and is among one of the tallest metallic statues in sitting position, in the world.
It is mounted on a 54-feet high base building, named 'Bhadra Vedi', has floors devoted for a Vedic digital library and research centre, ancient Indian texts, a theatre, an educational gallery detailing many works of Sri Ramanujacharya.
The statue - among the world's tallest - has been conceptualised by Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swami of Sri Ramanujacharya Ashram.
As part of the event, the Prime Minister visited the recreations of 108 Divya Desams (ornately carved temples) that surround the Statue of Equality.
A 3D projection performance on the life journey and teaching of Ramanujacharya will also be showcased
The inauguration of the Statue of Equality is part of the 12-day Sri Ramanuja Sahasrabdi Samaroham, the ongoing 1000th birth anniversary celebrations of Sri Ramanujacharya, an official statement said.
Earlier during his Hyderabad visit, the Prime Minister launched the 50th Anniversary celebrations of International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).
Sparking a political controversy surrounding his visit, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, known as KCR, skipped not just welcoming the Prime Minister as he landed in Hyderabad but also all the events that he attended.
Though the Telangana Chief Minister's Office conveyed to the Prime Minister's Office that the Chief Minister would stay away from the PM's events as he was running fever, the move comes amid a dramatic escalation in KCR's attacks on the BJP leader.