Do you know that the Hussain sagar Buddha statue is the tallest monolithic state of Sidddharta, also known as Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. The statue situated at the famous Lumbini Park in the Hussain Sagar Island can only be reached by boat. The Buddha Statue at Hussain Sagar in Hyderabad is an engineering marvel in that it is raised on a concrete platform, 15 feet tall, right in the middle of the lake. Dubbed as the “Rock of Gibraltar”, the statue was erected in the middle of Lake Hussain Sagar with tremendous efforts. The city roads were widened for the construction of the statue.
The statue was raised by N.T.Rama Rao, who was the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh between 1983 and 1989 at that time. He was inspired by the idea of ‘Statue of Liberty’ and wanted to accomplish a similar feet back home. What motivated him further is that it would stand the test of times as true representation of Indian culture, heritage and unity. Lord Buddha became the ideal candidate for the mission.
Right from the beginning it was decided that the state would be made out of stone. After strenuous efforts, a solid white granite stone unearthed near Nalgonda on a mountainside that is 40 miles outside the city of Hyderabad. It took a year for the project completion and the statue was finally unveiled in October 1985 by N.T.Rama Rao.
Temple architect and builder Ganapathi Sthapati with hundreds of workers worked on the statue. After five years of work, with a spend of about US$3 million, the stand stands tall at 58 feet (18m) and weighs 350 tons. This makes it the tallest monolithic Buddha. statue in the world.
Unfortunately, the N. T. Rama Rao led Andhra Pradesh Government was expelled in 1989 and the stone statue was kept waiting to be erected on the concrete platform until 1990. The statue was to be moved to the shore of Hussain Sagar by a trailer vehicle, the responsibility of which was given to a local company. But tragedy befell when the statue tipped suddenly due to a mishap and killed 10 engineers involved in the construction.
Efforts to move the statue out of Hussain Sagar lake persisted. The statue finally was erected on the platform successfully on 1 December 1992. The plan earlier was to enable the statue stand in the middle of the lake, but engineering hurdles stood in the way, as the statue today stands slightly closer to the NTR Memorial Gardens. In 2006, the Dalai Lama paid visit to the statue and consecrated it following a ritual which lent the place the status of a holy pilgrimage site.