Making of Hanuman…

Today, many parts of India celebrate the birth of Hanuman…

In Uttara Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, there is a chapter that relates the birth of Hanuman… The chapter begins with Sri Rama asking Agastya muni:

अतुलं बलमेतद्वै वालिनॊ रावणस्य च
न त्वेताभ्यां हनुमता समं त्विति मतिर्मम
शौर्यं दाक्ष्यं बलं धैर्यं प्राज्ञता नयसाधनम्
विकरमश्च प्रभावश्च हनूमति कृतालयाः

Immeasurable was the strength of Vali or Ravana; but I think neither of them was the equal of Hanuman. Heroism, capability, strength, courage, sagacity, diplomatic astuteness, speed of onset and prowess – all these have taken residence in the person of Hanuman“.

Such is Rama’s assessment of Hanuman!

So, shall we travel to a little hamlet in Tamil Nad, where a new Hanuman is in the making?

This was on the day previous to Rama Navami. A friend invited me to join him to witness an idol-sculpting inauguration function at a place somewhere in the suburbs. We left at around 8 am. After a breakfast break on the way, we reached our destination around 10 am. This was somewhere in the Chengelpet region, some kms beyond Athur, Pazhayaseevaram etc. The setting was rural. Amidst the open lands, was a simple open-air kind of place, where a Stapathi (a traditional sculptor) had his workshop.

Here is the first view of a huge boulder, out of which the Hanuman idol was to be sculpted.

Notice the devotees sitting on top of the stone – performing ritual worship.

Walking around the plot, one finds a thatched area where some smaller idols are being sculpted.

Have a look…Work in progress…

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One more picture of the huge rock from which an idol of Hanuman shall be carved out.

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This idol is being made for a new temple that is to come up in Alangudi. This is the third of a series of Hanuman temples taken up by Ramani Anna, a great devotee of Hanuman. The first temple that he was instrumental in constructing is in Nanganallur, Chennai. This has a 32 feet Hanuman, Aadhi-Vyaadi-hara Aanjaneya. The second temple is in Pondicherry, Panchamukha Aanjaneya. And now the third one is being taken up.

Here is a top view of the raw-material rock… Notice the drawing of Hanuman…

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A Yagya (homam / havan) is in progress… Poornahuti is offered…

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After consecration of the sculpting instruments, Ramani Anna inaugurates the sculpting by chiseling the rock… You can see the Stapathi (the architect-sculptor who shall make the idol) standing in far right, hands folded…

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After that, all the devotees assembled there are given the opportunity of taking part in the initial chiseling…

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The Nanganallur Hanuman is around 32 feet in height, and the Pondicherry one is 36 feet (and the raw-material rock is said to have weighed 150 tons!). This one being made for Alangudi is along the same proportions. This will be a massive Hanuman. Opposite the Hanuman, there will be a smaller set of idols of Rama, Sita, and family… The stones for those idols are seen below…

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So that was the inauguration of the sculpting of the sacred idol of Hanuman… For the proposed temple at Alangudi… Alangudi is one of the Navagraha kshetras, the Guru (Jupiter) Kshetra. The town also gave birth to a great sage known as Alangudi Periyava, who propagated Bhagavatam and Bhakti far and wide… And a year or two from now, a huge Hanuman shall grace the world there!

Happy Hanuman Jayanti

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14 Responses to “Making of Hanuman…”

  1. GLN Murthy Says:

    Dear sir, Thank u for providing the step by step carving of Hanuman Idol.This is our first lesson in sculpture.Very interesting.In this connection I recollect “Making of Scholar “extrodinary Sri Kavyakantha vaishta Ganapathi Muni.One Pandit Shivakumar of Kashi had given aletter introducing Sri Ganapathi sastry to another pandit Sithikantha vachspathi,who is the organiser of “Harisabha”(it is still existing now in Navadweepa).The letter contained only one sloka from RAmayana viz: “Devasura sameekeshu Bahuso Drashta vikramaha”.These are the words of Lord Sri Rama about the mighty Hanuman.The man has proved his valour in the battle between the Devas and Rakhsas.And truely Sri Ganapathisashtry proved that he is the undisputed sholar of eminence in the twentythcentury and was rightly given the title “KAVYAKANTHA” amidst the greatest scholastic assembly in Harisabha at Nawadweepa.-Murthy

  2. Raghavan Says:

    Thanks for your great effort.

  3. rajagopal sukumar Says:

    Nice post Kamesh. Interesting to see how a large Hanuman idol takes shape. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Mohan Narayanan Says:

    Thanks for the pictures and it was unfortunate that I could not attend a great occasion like this. Through your effforts I am able to visualise the efforts gone in by Shri Ramani Anna and the team. I wish these blogs be seen by the younger generation.

  5. T R KRISHNAN Says:

    Huge task ahead.
    Invoking the blessings of LORD SRIRAMA for this task

  6. Ambika Ananth Says:

    “ Hanuman Kalpa Vriksho me, Hanuman mama kaama dhuk
    Chintaamansthi Hanuman ko Vichara, kuto bhayam ?’
    ( When Lord Hanuman is there for me (us) like a wish yielding ‘kalpa vriksha, and like the boon giving Chintamani, to fulfill my ( our ) desires where is the cause for worry and fear ? )
    Thanks Kameshwar for a soul-elevating post – I feel blessed to have seen the pictures on Hanuman Jayanthi. You are a privileged one to be present there and to take part in initial chiseling.
    ‘ Yad bhavam tad bhavathi’ – your constant assiduous search always takes you to places where only ‘the chosen ones’ can be. Hope you will bring out in book-form your educative, informative, beautifully worded posts.
    Best regards
    Ambika Ananth

  7. S.Narasimhan Says:

    The commentary as well as the pictorial depictions are comprehensive in every aspect of the project in the making.

    Lord Rama’s assessment of Hanuman equally applies to His ardent devotee Shri Ramani Anna. The determination to build yet another temple for Lord Anjaneya goes to show Anna’s courage, strength and sagacity.

    I request the author to provide periodic updates on the progress of the project through his blogs.

  8. Srinivasa Says:

    Very interesting

  9. jAGANNATHAN Says:

    Very nice to see all these photos. Thanks.

  10. A.G.Krishna Says:

    great photos.Thanks a lot

  11. UMA THIRUMURUGAN Says:

    RAMANI ANNA, a great legant and a wonderful human being, has successfully constructed two beautiful HANUMAN temples…… this third temple at alangudi will definitely be a gift to cholamandalam(Thanjavur district).. we all should pray to LORD RAMA to shower all his blessings towards ramani anna for his efforts to complete this task

  12. P S Pawar Says:

    very inspiring and interesting

  13. saraswathirengarajan Says:

    very nice and interesting

  14. renuka Says:

    awesome andvery interesting ramani anna is a great and wonderful man and he has completed two huge hanuman temples. this is the 3rd one anyway we should thank god for we are living with the great KING RAMANI ANNA. we all should pray to hanuman to give him energy to complete this BIG project .thank you

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