Recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest bust sculpture, the Adiyogi statue depicts the Hindu deity, Shiva, in 500 tonnes of steel.
Surrounded by lush green farms, coconut groves, and the Velliangiri hills, the towering Adiyogi stands 112 feet tall in Coimbatore, India and celebrates Shiva, the first yogi. Shiva is popular in many forms across the land but depicting the deity as the ‘first Yogi’ is not common.
The height of 112 feet symbolizes the 112 methods to obtain freedom—or moksha—a theme in yogic culture. It’s also said the height represents the 112 chakras, points of focus in the body used in meditation.
The structure, which was inaugurated in February 2017, is owned and maintained by a non-profit and non-religious organization called Isha Foundation. It was made to remind the world about inner transformation and liberation. According to Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, founder of the Isha Foundation, “Adiyogi is a reminder for humanity to shift from religion to responsibility.”
Despite the overtones of Hinduism at Adiyogi, it is a non-religious place. People of any faith and religion are welcome to visit Adiyogi and partake in many of the events that unfold in the shadow of Shiva.
The Isha Foundation often holds games, cultural programs, discourses, dinners and other events of camaraderie in front of the statue. At the base of the bust is a quaint shrine where visitors can chant or meditate. Unlike traditional Indian temples or meditation spots, here visitors are allowed to take selfies with Adiyogi.