2018 Mahamastakabhisheka: Bahubali has many competitors but remains unique

Some historic statues around the world are taller than the Bahubali statue at Shravanabelagola but still they cannot outshine the statue of Bahubali solely for the reason that the statue atop Vindyagiri Hill is hewn out of a single rock while other statues despite their height do not match the stature of the Bahubali statue.

In comparison, the Buddha images of Bamiya in Afghanistan are two to three times the height of Bahubali at 120 feet and 175 feet while Bahubali is only 58’ 8” tall. But, these Buddha images are not hewn out of single granite boulders.

The image of Rameses II (Egypt) is probably nearest to Bahubali in height but even this statue is neither colossal  nor a free-standing image. The two statues of Memnon in Egypt are about 10 feet taller and a couple of thousand years older than the statue of Bahubali but they are not monolithic.The Sphinx of Chapron is about 66 feet high but not even this human-animal statue is made of a single boulder.

Even though, the State of Liberty at 305 feet at New York and the rock carvings of American Presidents on the Black Hills in the USA at 60 feet are higher, historians say they belong to a different age and involve different techniques and motivation. In the period of Bahubali, they say, no artist in the world had dared to plan and brave the odds to achieve the aesthetic perfection like Chavundaraya achieved in the gigantic image at Shravanablagola.

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