Arun Yogiraj is an Indian sculptor and artist. He has carved various prominent statues including the 30-feet statue of Subhash Chandra Bose, installed at the India Gate in New Delhi, the 12-feet statue of Adi Shankaracharya in Kedarnath, the white Amritashila statue of Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa in Mysore, and 15-feet tall sculpture of BR Ambedkar in Mysore. On 22 January 2024, his sculpture ‘Ram Lalla’ was installed at Ayodhya’s Ram Temple.
Arun Yogiraj was born in 1983 (age 40 years; as of 2023) in Mysore, Karnataka. He pursued an MBA at Mysore University. He has worked as a trainee in the HR department of a private company. In 2008, he resigned from his job and started working as a full-time sculptor.
Height (approx.): 5′ 10″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
He hails from a family of five generations of sculptors in Mysore, Karnataka.
Parents & Siblings
His mother’s name is Saraswathi. His father, B.S. Yogiraj Shilpi, was a sculptor. He was the recipient of several awards including ‘Amarashilpi Jakanachari’ and Rajyothsava awards. He died in 2021, when Arun Yogiraj was working on the Netaji’s Statue.
He has an elder brother named Suryaprakash and an elder sister named Chetana. His brother, Suryaprakash, is also a sculptor.
Wife & Children
He is married to Vijetha Mohan. He has a daughter and a son.
His grandfather, Basavanna Shilpi, was also a well-known sculptor. He was patronised by the King of Mysore at that time.
30-feet Statue of Subhash Chandra Bose
Arun Yogiraj has carved the 30-foot statue of Subhash Chandra Bose, which was installed in a canopy behind the Amar Jawan Jyoti at the India Gate in New Delhi. The statue was installed in 2022 during the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ to mark the 75th Independence Day as well as the 125th birth anniversary of Subhash Chandra Bose. Yogiraj has made use of black jade granite stone for carving the statue, which was brought from Telangana to Delhi. Its design was given by the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) under the Union Ministry of Culture. The artist led the team of 48 sculptors from all over India to create the 28 ft (excluding pedestal) tall, 10 ft long, and 8 ft wide Netaji statue in 75 days.
12-feet Statue of Adi Shankaracharya
In 2021, Arun Yogiraj sculpted the 12-feet tall 3-D statue of Adi Shankaracharya, which is installed in Kedarnath. Adi Shankaracharya was a Kerala-born eighth-century Indian mystic and philosopher, who had his samadhi in Kedarnath. Yogiraj worked almost nine months with his team of seven sculptors to complete the statue. He made use of Chlorite Schist Stone for making the sculpture. In an interview, he revealed that he used to work 14-15 hours a day to make the statue. The 12-foot-tall and 35-tonne statue was made to restore the samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya, which was washed away in the June 2013 Kedarnath tragedy. Hindustan Times
21-feet tall Hanuman Statue
Yogiraj has carved a 21-foot-tall Hanuman statue, which is placed at the Rama temple at Chunchanakatte in Mysore. The artist took 15 months to complete the statue, which was carved in Hoysala style. The statue was installed on 20 May 2022. Deccan Herald
Common Man Statue
In 2020, he created a life-sized statue of “The Common Man,” the late cartoonist RK Laxman’s one of the most popular creations. The statue, nearly five and a half feet tall, was initially crafted in clay and later moulded in fibre. The artist received a commission from the railway authorities of Mysore to create this art piece. Yogiraj took seven days to complete the clay model and an additional two days to create the fibre version of the statue. The statue was displayed at the Malgudi Museum in Shivamogga, Karnataka. While talking about the statue in an interview, Arun Yogiraj said that he felt an emotional connection with the art piece as both RK Laxman and RK Narayan hailed from Mysore. The Times of India
Statue of Late King Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar
In 2016, Arun Yogiraj sculpted the statue of the Late King Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar, the last ruler of the Mysuru Royal Family. The statue was installed at Hardinge Circle in Mysore in April 2016. The statue was completed before the wedding of Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, great-grandson of the Late King Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar. The artist made use of white marble, imported from Austria to make the 10-foot tall, 6-foot wide, and 4.5-foot long statue. Yogiraj, along with a team of 9 sculptures, took almost five months to complete the statue.
Ram Lalla Statue
In 2023, Arun Yogiraj’s sculpture ‘Ram Lalla’ was selected by the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust to be installed at the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. In an interview, he revealed the trust asked three sculptors to create a 51-inch tall idol of Lord Ram, which should look like a five-year-old. They were also provided with several types of stone from various places such as Nepal, Karkala in Uttara Kannada district, HD Kote in Mysore district, and Makrana in Rajasthan. He said that he chose Krishna Shila stone from HD Kote, which does not react to any liquid. He added that he visited some schools to the look of five-year-old children. He said that it took him two months to visualize the idol and more than 6 months to create the statue.
Some of his other notable artworks include the white amritashila statue of Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa in Mysore, a 15-feet tall sculpture of BR Ambedkar in Mysore, six feet tall monolithic statue of Nandi, six feet tall statue of Banashankari Devi, bronze statue of Sri U.R. Rao installed at ISRO, Bangalore, and 5 feet idol of God Garuda in Mysore.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- South Zone Young Talented Artist Award by the Government of India in 2014
- Nalwadi Award 2020 by Mysore District Administration
- Honorary membership by The Crafts Council of Karnataka in 2021
- Shilpa Kousthubha by Sculptors Association
- Rajyothsava Award by Mysuru District Authority
- Honored by the honourable Chief Minister of Karnataka state
- Honored by Sports Academy of Mysuru district
- Honored by AmaraShilpi Jakanacharya Trust
- Awarded as “KAYAKAYOGI” by VISTARA NEWS channel in 2022
- He was congratulated and appreciated by various famous personalities including the former chief minister of Karnataka B. S. Yediyurappa after his idol was selected to be installed at the Ayodhya’s Ram Temple.
- He has participated in various State and National level Sculpture Camps.
- In an interview, he revealed that earlier his mother was not in favour of him joining the family tradition of sculpting but later accepted it.
- He often conducts workshops where he teaches traditional methods of sculpting to his students.
- He forwent a project that he got from the Czech Republic to complete the statue of Adi Shankaracharya.
- Apart from India, Yogiraj has received orders for sculptures from several countries including the Netherlands, USA, Australia, Sri Lanka, UK and Germany.
- The artist, along with his father, used to run a school of sculpture named Kasyap Shilpa Kalanikethana in Mysore.