Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a 112-foot-tall Shiva statue in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu on the eve of Maha Shivratri. Extolling the ancient Indian discipline of Yoga, the Prime Minister called for efforts to protect nature and mould human activities to bring them in sync with ecological surroundings.
Modi unveiled the statue or ‘Adiyogi’ — an avatar of Lord Shiva who is considered to be the first of yogis — at Isha Foundation in Coimbatore. The statue was constructed by the Isha Foundation, which plans to set up similar statues in other parts of the country. which plans to set up similar statues in other parts of the country.
The bust, made of steel, weighs 500 tonnes and took two-and-a-half years to design and eight months to build it.
Mahashivratri, which translates to the great night of Shiva, is celebrated annually in remembrance of overcoming darkness. It is observed by remembering Shiva and chanting prayers, fasting, practising yoga and meditating on ethics and virtues such as self-restraint, honesty and forgiveness.
The statue and the foundation are located in the foothills of Velliangiri mountains in the Western Ghats.