The Telegraph
Thursday , July 31 , 2014
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Poet statue for Mithila tourism

A trust has commissioned a 131ft statue of Maithili poet Vidyapati in Madhubani district to develop the region as a popular tourist spot.

Vidyapati Jagaran Trust, the organisation, would develop Vidyapati Dham at Bisfi block, the poet’s birthplace around 210km northeast of Patna. Construction of the statue at the Vidyapati Dham will start in October after the foundation stone is laid following Durga Puja.

The firm has assigned Gurgaon firm Matu Ram Art Centre the responsibility to complete the project in two years.

A five-member team from the firm led by chief architect Rabindra Kishore collected soil samples from Vidyapati Dham on Monday. The soil sample report is expected in a week after it tests at the company’s Mumbai laboratory.

Kishore said: “We collected soil samples from the construction site to understand the feasibility of constructing the 131ft statue of Vidyapati. In fact, we want to ascertain how much depth is required for constructing such a tall statue. It is possible to understand the required depth only after the soil test.”

The Gurgaon firm has given the organisation an estimate of Rs 5 crore to construct the statue and develop the site as one of the popular tourist spots in the country.

The statue would be 131ft high from the ground and would be constructed on the 10ft Vidyapati mound (where the poet was born). The foundation of the statue would be another 10ft. Cement, concrete and iron rods would be used in the construction, while the statue itself would be covered in molten copper.

Chairman of the Vidyapati Jagaran Trust Phool Singh told The Telegraph: “Mithilanchal is historically the mother of pristine cultural heritage and the birthplace of several eminent personalities, including Sita. Mithilanchal has the power to attract international tourists and must be developed. We are striving to revamp the Vidyapati Dham and construct the statue of the poet cuckoo of Maithili, who influenced people across the world with his poetry.”

The poet and Sanskrit writer was born in the 14th century. His bust is already installed in Bisfi, around 45km southwest of the Madhubani district headquarters.

Bisfi resident Shiv Shankar Rai said: “We appreciate the trust’s initiatives, as it is committed to construct the statue and develop Vidyapati Dham. It would not only cater to the needs of national and international tourists but also accelerate the economic conditions of the residents. It would save the region’s cultural heritage and generate employment opportunities in the tourism industry.”

Anil Jha, another resident, said: “Phool Singh produced Kakhan Harab Dukh Mor, a Maithili film on Vidyapati, about 12 years ago. He played the key role of Vidyapati too. Maithili people live in all corners of the world and they would bring their near and dear ones to Mithilanchal once the area is developed.”

Phool Singh said: “We formed the Vidyapati Jagaran Trust this year to construct one of the highest statues in India. Its life, according to the certificate given by the architecture firm, would be 260 years. We are ready to spend about Rs 5 crore. We took the decision as the state government has stepped back from its plan to develop the Mithilanchal region as a tourist destination.”

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