Making Ananda Nilayam for homes
From an ordinary scooter mechanic to a much-sought-after maker of replicas of Ananda Nilayam (also called Ananda NilayaVimanam -- the golden tower above the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Venkateswaratemple in Tirumala), PenumuruPandurangaAchari hascome a long way.
Tirupati: From an ordinary scooter mechanic to a much-sought-after maker of replicas of Ananda Nilayam (also called Ananda NilayaVimanam -- the golden tower above the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Venkateswaratemple in Tirumala), PenumuruPandurangaAchari hascome a long way.
Today his replicas of Ananda Nilayam as well as otheritems of divinities and deities are exported to many countries, including the US, Germany and Britain. His innate talent shows in all his works as into them he puts his heart and soul.
PandurangaAchari belongs to a nondescript place in Yerpedumandal. He arrived in Tirupati long back in search of livelihood. Born into a family of goldsmiths, he did learnthe ropes of the trade from his father, but elected to settle down as a scooter mechanic. After almost a decade, he left that profession and opened a hardware shop. That too did not give him any satisfaction.
Driven by an inner urge, and palpably due to the hand of divine Providence, he then chose to test his artistic skills as a sculptor in newer areas. On the first death anniversary of his father, whom he loved very much, he made his dad’s replica. Later, he carved a dinosaur.
However, it was the making of the first replica of Ananda Nilayam that proved to be the turning point in his life. Fortune smiled on him. He scaled new heights in no time.
He had carved each and every detail of the original Ananda Nilayam in miniature form to make the first and all subsequent replicas. With Jaya, Vijaya (Dwarapalakas) at BangaruVakili; next entrance RamulavariMeda; the final entrance before the sanctum sanctorum KulasekharaPadi and finally the Lord’s replica inside in the form of a Saligram, it makes the complete set of Aananda Nilayam.
Upon feasting the eyes on his Ananda Nilayam, one gets a feeling as if he or she has entered the temple in Tirumala. He has also made additional decorations like lighting, chanting of Om NamoVenkatesaya as has been the case in Tirumala.
His real workmanship reflects from the depiction of the aerial view of Swarna Gopuram. The Swarna Gopuram on Ananda Nilayam in Tirumala looks like ‘SreeChakram’ when seen vertically from above. Nobody will have a chance to see it as the Tirumala is a no-flyzone. Still, Acharihas created the entire view. The replica of the famous Silathoranam in Tirumala has also drawn accolades.
The first Ananda Nilayam and some other carvings he made have been kept in TTD Museum, Tirumala. He uses stone oxide, stone powder and white cement in plaster of paris to make them. The finished structure is strong. He carves the replicas meticulously without making any mistake.
Finally, the piece looks natural. By seeing the form of God carved by PandurangaAhari, anybody would instinctively fold their hands at the divinity before them. He makes LordVenkateswara, Lakshmi Devi, Vinayaka and other artistic pieces such as Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Gitopadesam with stone and even with ‘Panchaloha’ (alloy of five metals) material.
“Nothing is in our hands. Whatever God decides, it will happen. I never thought of making Ananda Nilayam. But, it happened and changed my life, PandurangaAchari told The Hans India in all modesty.
By V Pradeep Kumar
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