Lord Jagannath’s abode, Puri in Odisha (Orissa) , the pilgrimage center for Hindus is not
only famous for the temple but of-late it has also become famous for the
beautifully carved sand sculptures by Sudarshan Patnaik. Sudarshan Patnaik is
now a world-renown sand artist who has won many awards and has got great
reception over the years because of the awesome sand sculptures that he creates.
With his art he has created many a masterpieces spreading awareness, to
congratulating many leaders for their achievement, or to bring notice to the
general public about a core issue. He comes up with sand sculptures on various
topical issues and lends his support uniquely.
He has created excellent
masterpieces on advocating the use of greener methods to cut carbon footprint,
to congratulating Barack Obama on his famous win, to paying tribute to pop
sensation Micheal Jackson. Some other famous carvings of his are of the 100
Santa Clause Sculpture for which he is the Guinness World Record holder, or
building a 25 foot Santa Clause for which is included in the Limca Book of World
Records, and one got huge appreciation for building the Black Taj Mahal near to
the real one
Sudarsan Pattnaik (born on 15 April 1977) born in Puri, nearly 60 km from
Bhubaneswar the capital city of Odisha (Orissa) . He is the inventor of sand art in India
and has learned this form of art by himself without any guidance but only by
practice and creative ideas. He started sculpting images on sand since the age
of seven. Sudarshan Patnaik comes from a very poor background and lived in a
remote village near Puri in Odisha (Orissa) . His childhood days went in intense poverty
with not even having money to get primary education. But he did went to the
government school; after and before school he used to visit the beautiful golden
sea beach near Jagannath temple and make sculptures. Slowly and steadily he
started to build various shapes with sand and at a certain point (when he was
12) he started spending his entire day on the beach building different statues.
Life for him was the beach and the sand. He used to build small sculptures from
sand and would go away and come after some hours to see how people are reacting
to it. As more and more people started recognizing and appreciating his art he
started to take this seriously. The domestic media highlighted his art locally
and slowly the national media also highlighted some of those. Puri being a
pilgrimage center only helped his art survive. Scores of people from various
places in India visit Jagannath temple and the beach being famous helped him
tremendously. Tourist started appreciating the art which again gave him
recognition and fame.
In 1991, he started India’s first sand art institute in Puri where he taught
children to learn this art form. Now he represents India in various
international competitions and has had a chance to showcase his art in every
part of the world. Various historical scriptures show that Puri beach was once
considered as one of the main places where sand art existed in ancient times.
Mr. Patnaik is just taking the legacy forward. So much so that he is also
credited as the pioneer of sand art in India. Many students are getting trained
and work with him. Despite of all this he didn’t got much support from the state
or the central government.
He has often complaint publicly about this. Lately,
the state government of Odisha (Orissa) awarded him the Think Odisha Leadership Award,
and NALCO a public sector company made him as the company’s first brand
ambassador. His dream is to make this art form famous in India and bring India
to the international stage when it comes to sand art. His attempt to make this
art form popular is showing some results with one of student Manas Kumar Sahoo
went on to become a semi-finalist in India’s Got Talent. Many children in Odisha (Orissa)
are also taking this art form seriously. He is now an icon for many budding
artist who love this art and want to make a career in this.