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Famous India > Editorials > Puri - Sand Idols
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Puri - Sand Idols

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By Mukti Sharma

Moving around had become a habit, so this time we packed our bags for a weekend discovery to the city of temples – Puri. But here we went for another reason, it were not the temples which attracted us – but the beaches and the sand idols on the beaches.

Carved out of the sand, these idols and different form of life attracts people from all over the world. It is the one of the most beautiful thing around to see. Images of shell conch, lord Shiva, Goddess Durga ever – beautiful Taj Mahal, the church, Vivekananda – all find a place in the sands of Puri Beaches. As we stood there, with the Swami Vivekananda being made; the sands seemed to change their colors.

This is the most famous place or the beach for Sand Idols where we are standing. The magnificence of the Konark temple could be seen in the hands which move swiftly through the sands to make that masterpiece. Sudarshan Patnaik – a college dropout is the man behind this engrossing art. Just walking down the sands and making a face of Lord Shiva was the beginning of the story. The legend which took him to Rashtrapati Bhavan.

But the making of these idols is not a well kept secret – Patnaik has opened a School in Puri which has more than 50 students working day and night to take this art home.

Though I have been to a number of beaches in India – Goan Beaches and the Southern Beaches – the Kovalam, Calangute Beach – but this is something unique. I have heard about a beach in Go w here they do make Sand idols – but I am still to discover it. But for the rest I have not seen anything like this before. As I sat on the sand of the Golden beach - I could see a lot of people swarming about the sands, watching as the great artist was at work. Asked what inclined him to put all his energies to this work, - love for the work was the simple reply.

Keeping a estimated distance from the sea, is the primary thing. This work is not simply a work – its a understanding – of the sea, of the waves and the winds - in all the various moods of the nature. Its tough as it requires a lot of patience. Putting all this what comes out is a beautiful work of art – in the form of various sand sculptures. Just like the other art forms – like the miniature paintings and the jewellery, sand idols are also a part of the Indian Culture.

As I was packing my bags to go back, I thought of joining the Golden Sand Art Institute – just to take some memories from the beaches of Puri.

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