As the much anticipated ‘pran pratishtha’ of the idol of Ram Lalla unfolds in Ayodhya, the sculptor of the idol Arun Yogiraj calls himself the “the luckiest person on earth”. This renowned sculptor now in the spotlight comes from a legacy of sculptors and has previously created various sculptures of cultural importance.

Tracking back to his roots, Arun hails from Agrahara, Mysuru in Karnataka. The 41 year old belongs to a family of five generations of sculptors. His famed grandfather Basavanna Shilpi was patronized by the King of Mysore.

Despite the family legacy, Arun did not take to sculpting as a full-time profession initially. After getting a master’s degree in business administration, he worked for a private company. A little while later, he quit his job in 2008, and pursued his passion for sculpting full time. Arun is married to Vijetha, and has two siblings.

Arun has famously sculpted the 30 feet statue of Subhash Chandra Bose, in the canopy behind the Amar Jawan Jyoti behind the India Gate. The installation of the Bose statue was steered by PM Narendra Modi to honour his contribution. Arun has also been recognised by the BJP government and has received appreciation from PM Modi in the past. Around the time of Bose sculpture installation, Arun had gifted the PM, a miniature two-feet tall statue of Bose.

The same hands have also sculpted the 12 feet tall statue of Adi Shankaracharya in Kedarnath, which was inaugurated in 2021. The statue weighing 35 tonnes was built at the seer’s samadhi stal, which was redeveloped after the 2013 massive floods.

Arun’s other works include 21 feet monolithic stone sculpture of Hanuman in KR Nagar, Mysore.

A 15 feet monolithic white marble stone sculpture of Dr B. R. Ambedkar, 10 feet monolithic white marble stone sculpture of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, 15 feet monolithic white marble stone sculpture of the Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar with pedestal in Mysuru and 11 feet monolithic modern art stone sculpture sculpted in the concept “Creation of Creation” at University of Mysore.

He has also sculpted the bronze statue of Sri U.R. Rao,installed at ISRO, Bangalore, fivefeet idol of Garuda at Mysore and sevenfeet tall idol of Yoganarasimha Swamy at KR Nagar. Arunhas also sculpted numerous statues of Sir M.Vishveshwaraiah and Dr. B. R Ambedkar.

His sculptures can be found in various temples too, as he has created sculptures of Panchamukhi Ganapathi, MahaVishnu, Buddha, Nandi, Swami Shivbala Yogi, Swami Shivakumara, and Banashankari.

On his arrival at the Ram temple in Ayodhya, the sculptor said, “I feel I am the luckiest person on the Earth and also count on the blessings of my ancestors, family members, and ram lalla…sometimes I feel I am in a dream world.(sic)”