After Just Unveiling the World’s Tallest Statue, India Plans to Break the Record Again With a 725-Foot Hindu God

This one is two-and-a-half times the size of the Statue of Liberty.

Indian seers from various ashrams sit onstage during the 'Dharam Sabha' Hindu congregation held to call for the construction of a grand temple of Lord Rama, in Ayodhya on November 25, 2018. - Hindu groups claim deity Rama was born and a temple existed at the site of a medieval Mosque that was demolished by Hindu mobs in 1992, triggering religious riots that left some 2,000 people dead across India. The more than a century-old dispute over the site has been a frequent flashpoint between majority Hindus and minority Muslims. (Photo by SANJAY KANOJIA / AFP) (Photo credit should read SANJAY KANOJIA/AFP/Getty Images)

India is already home to the world’s tallest statue. But it is now poised to break its own record—twice. Officials for the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh have approved plans for a 725-foot-tall likeness of the Hindu god Ram, which would dwarf the figure that previously held the “world’s tallest” title.

India, it appears, is on a massive sculpture-building spree. If completed, the colossal Ram would be 125 feet taller than the world’s current tallest statue, a nearly 600-foot-tall effigy of Indian politician Sardar Patel that was just unveiled in the state of Gujarat, near the Narmada dam, in late October. Meanwhile, in Mumbai, a statue of the medieval ruler Shivaji is under construction and is expected to be nearly 700 feet tall when completed.

That’s right: India now has the potential to be home to the three tallest statues in the world.

Just how tall are we talking, you ask? The smallest of the bunch dwarfs the 420-foot Spring Temple Buddha in China, and is roughly twice as big as New York City’s Statue of Liberty.

But the most recently approved sculpture also comes with a conflict-riddled backstory. Five construction firms presented plans for the 725-foot-high statue of Ram to the state’s chief minister Yogi Adityanath, a controversial Hindu monk accused of instigating violence against the state’s Muslim minority, according to a report in the Guardian.

Citing a press release from the Uttar Pradesh government, NDTV reported Adityanath approved the statue and that it will be made of bronze. The report broke down the different components of the statue: The figure of Lord Ram itself will measure 151 meters (495 feet); the pedestal, 50 meters (164 feet); and the “chattra” over his head, 20 meters (65 feet).

Ayodhya, the proposed site of the Ram statue, has been central to the Hindu nationalist movement since 1992, when a crowd of followers descended on a Mughal-era mosque there and destroyed it, since they believe it was the site where Ram was born. Earlier, Muslim leaders were said to have destroyed an ancient Hindu temple on the site.

The destruction of the mosque touched off riots in which 2,000 people reportedly died. And several top officials, including former government ministers, were indicted for instigating the demolition.

This past weekend, some 50,000 Hindu nationalists rallied in Ayodhya and demanded that prime minister Narendra Modi’s party build the Ram statue on the site.

The Guardian quoted Uddhav Thackeray, leader of the Shiv Sena group, who advised his followers: “Do whatever it is you have to do. A temple has to be built. This government is very powerful and if they don’t build a temple they will not be in government.”

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