The 108-feet-tall statue of the 8th-century AD philosopher Adi Shankaracharya is scheduled for inauguration in Omkareshwar, Madhya Pradesh, on September 18. This monumental sculpture is famously known as the Statue of Oneness. The multi-metal sculpture portrays Adi Shankaracharya as a 12-year-old boy. Alongside the statue, another notable attraction is a sprawling campus taking shape around it. The project envisions the establishment of a university dedicated to teaching the Indian Vedic philosophy championed by Adi Sankaracharya.
The goal is to disseminate this knowledge both within the country and internationally, employing an organised approach reminiscent of the ancient “gurukul system.” “Textbooks based on the Advaita Philosophy of Adi Shakaracharya are already prepared for introduction into school curricula,” project officials stated in Bhopal.
Named “Eaktmta Ki Pratima” (Statue of Oneness), this project has garnered significant attention due to its grandeur and spiritual significance. The Madhya Pradesh Cabinet has allocated a substantial budget of over `2,141 crore for the construction of the Statue of Oneness, symbolising the State’s commitment to preserving its rich cultural and religious heritage.
“The project has seen continuity over the years, even when power changed hands — whether it was the Congress or the BJP — without disrupting its progress,” officials in Bhopal affirmed. Additionally, an “Advaita Forest” sprawling across 36 hectares in Omkareshwar is also being developed around it.
Before the “Statue of Oneness,” two other statues were inaugurated. These include the “Statue of Unity,” standing at 790 feet, dedicated to the first Union Home Minister of the country, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and the 216-feet-tall “Statue of Equality,” dedicated to Saint Ramanujacharya (1017-1137), who advocated Vishishtadvaita philosophy and rejected caste distinctions. Both of these statues were unveiled in Gujarat and Telangana, respectively, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
This time, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will unveil the iconic statue in Omkareshwar, located approximately 80 kilometres from Indore on the banks of the Narmada river.
The city has long been recognized as a global center for the Advaita Vedanta philosophy, championed by Adi Shankaracharya. The temple town of Omkareshwar is home to one of Lord Shiva’s 12 Jyotirlingas and is now envisioned as a global hub for the Advaita Vedanta philosophy. It was in Omkareshwar where Adi Shankaracharya — who traveled all the way from Kerala — met his Guru Govind Bhagwadapad and stayed for four years to receive his education.
Once the entire project is completed, the traffic to Omkareshwar is expected to increase significantly, and as a result, infrastructure facilities from Indore and the surrounding areas are being greatly improved, according to officials.