Who would have thought that the tallest Shiva Statue, also known as Kailashnath Mahadev Statue, could be found in the tiny Asian country of Nepal? The statue, which has become a major tourist attraction in Nepal, stands 143 feet high. This magnificent structure is sited in Sanga, about 20km from the capital city of Kathmandu and at the border between the districts of Kavrepalanchwok and Bhaktapur.
Site and Construction
The construction of the Shiva Statue, which commenced in 2004, was not without issues. The villagers in the hilly location who were mostly uneducated and unemployed first opposed the idea of such a project in the area. A few years later, though, when the statue was completed, many of the villagers have actually come to accept the project as a huge blessing.
It took about seven years for the hundreds of workers from both Nepal and India to complete the statue, which is a depiction of the Hindu god, Lord Shiva. The statue was fashioned out of copper, zinc, steel and cement. Before the construction commenced, a deep foundation had to be made considering the elevated location of the statue. Special attention was paid to ensure the structure does not easily fall victim to landslides.
Aside from its pedestal, the Shiva Statue itself is said to measure 108 feet high. The number 108 has special significance to Hindu mythology. Special care was taken in its construction to ensure that it is well protected against harsh weather conditions. The statue is coated with zinc to guard against negative effects of sun, rain and other natural factors. The zinc coating is further overlaid with copper. The coatings required a combined total of 6000kgs of zinc and copper to finish, according to the brain behind the statue. The structure is claimed to be the world’s tallest statue in Hindu religion, and not just of the god Lord Shiva.
Sign of Religious Unity
The Shiva Statue in Nepal may be considered as something of a religious harmony symbol considering the person that sponsored its construction, Kamal Jain, is a follower of Jain religion. Jain is the owner of Hilltake Group, which is one of the major water tank manufacturers in Nepal. An Indian citizen, Jain has been in business in the country for about two decades. He made it known that the reason behind the construction of the Shiva Statue was to boost tourism in the region and, indeed, the results are already here.
Shiva Statue and Tourism
The Kailashnath Mahadev Statue is a major tourist magnet in Nepal. It is estimated that about 5,000 people visit the statue on a week day, with the number being higher on weekends, during festival periods such as the Shivaratri, and on national holidays. The Shiva Statue has been featured in many top magazines as one of the best attractions that visitors must endeavor to see in Nepal. The local people are already reaping the benefits of having such a structure in their area. Significant development and increase in income were only among the many gifts that the statue has brought into the Sanga area in the recent years.
There are other interesting activities that visitors can engage in when visiting the Shiva Statue, including horse riding. In addition, tourists can relax at a natural therapy center and enjoy services such as spa, massages, as well as a dip in a swimming pool.