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Sand Sculpture: Uniquness of Orissa's Sand Art

I have spent most of my childhood in capital city of Orissa i.e. Bhubaneswar. Whenever Dad use to get time, we use to visit Puri which was 60Km from Bhubaneswar. Puri is famous Lord Jagannath temple and being a kid after visiting temple me and my brother’s aim use to be go to beach where we can play with sea water and construct our own little castle. Once when we went to Puri beach, I saw a person doing a similar stuff (making something with sand) like us. I and my brother got curious and started looking at this person. By 20 minutes, I can see a beautiful mermaid made of sand in front of our eyes. I was speechless with his creativity. That was my first encounter with sand art of Orissa.

Sand art in Orissa is one of the famous art forms of the state. Sand Art is a distinctive type of art form of Puri in Orissa, which is usually depicted at the seashore. This form of art, is unique to the state. It is actually a type of sculpture, which is practiced on sand. It can be compared with stone sculpture. pture. To carve a sand sculpture, the raw material is the only clean and fine grained sand mixed with water . With the help of this type of sand and with the blessings of God and by the magic of fingers , an artist can carve a beautiful and attractive sculpture on the beach.


The lineage of this art dates back to a long time back. One can find the mention of this art in the life story of Balaram Das, one of the most well known poets of Orissa. This poet was a prominent literary figure of the 14th century AD. The sand art was, therefore, one of the prevalent art forms of 14th century Orissa. There is an interesting mythical story associated with sand art in Orissa. According to popular belief, Balaram das wanted to climb Lord Jagannath's chariot to pay homage to him, but he was not allowed to do so. He went to the sea beach and started carved the images of Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra out of sand. He then prayed to this image of Lord Jagannath. It is said that his dedication was so strong that the statues of the deities were later seen on the beach where Balaram Das offered his prayers and not on the chariot.

One of the famous artists of Orissa who is involved in this art form is Sudarsan Pattnaik. His works are mostly based on current world issues, ranging from climate change to world peace.

Time has changed, people have become more aware and respect this form of art. Whenever I visit Puri beach, I am always curious to know which sculpture will be depicted in seashore today. It’s always a treat for eyes to see such beautiful sand Sculpture.

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