P V Ramachandran

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P V Ramachandran
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Born1959 (age 63–64)
Aluva, Kerala, India
OccupationMonument/ Terracotta Artist

P V Ramachandran is a Monument/Terracotta Artist, born in 1959 in Desom village in Aluva, Kerala.

Worked towards the upliftment and professional advancements of traditional tribal terracotta/ pottery workers who occupy lower ranks of the society and endure the hardships of unemployment, poverty and lack of progress.

Constructed world’s largest terracotta idols, 51 ft tall Maraprabhu at Guruvayur[1] and 45 ft tall Moolikeswaran at Mysore[2]. Dozens of artisans earn their daily livelihood by making miniature models of Maraprabhu, the stunning terracotta sculpture located in the national devotional centre, Guruvayur and visited by around 3 crore people annually. In 1994, organized terracotta sculpture-making workshops for vocational enhancement of traditional terracotta artists, enabling them to create products that meet the modern-day demands, and thereby ensuring a strong footing for the art in the present and the future. The terracotta industry has thus obtained new dimensions. Mahaganitham at Union Christian College, Aluva, Naval Monument at Merchant Navy Club, Willingdon Island Memorial Sculpture etc. are among the famous works. [3]

A seasoned mentor with thousands of students in and around the state, the artist has played a vital role in establishing terracotta art as a conducive vocation for the tribal terracotta artists who still adhered to their legacy. By creating employment opportunities for numerous traditional artisans, he helped ameliorate their penury. The workshop of 1994 was a fundamental step for securing the lives of the tribal labourers and their family along with ensuring a better future for their coming generations.

His creations reflect the complex yet pure blend of art, culture and the love for nature. These creations proudly resonate the importance of this impeccable art form to both the present and future generations. He has dedicated all his creations to the cultural upliftment and progress of the nation. The universality of the messages conveyed through his creations transcends to the future generations as well.


An artist who has breathed life into hundreds of sculptures throughout his career, P V Ramachandran is credited with working towards the upliftment of traditional tribal artisans and protecting their indigenous artform. The artist carved into life arresting amalgamations of tradition, art, and culture, while the nation poignantly stood an eloquent witness to some of the greatest artistic and cultural creations of the time. His dedication was purely to the artistry rather than fame or finances, evidently visible to his absolute detachment from the art from the moment of its completion.

The artist’s oeuvre is a significant contribution to the art form, some of which are listed below.

World’s largest terracotta idol, 51 ft tall Guruvayoor Maraprabhu, enclosed within ‘Kanakaprabhamandalam’[4], the magnificent iron arch infused with ayurvedic and medicinal concoctions[5]. The sculpture was inaugurated and unveiled in 1994 by the then Minister of Industries, K. Karunakaran.

Two terracotta sculptures at the Mysore Ganapati Sachidananda Ashram - 45 ft tall sculpture Moolikeswaran, unveiled and presented before the public by 18 MPs in 1994; and Akaalamrityumokshasthoopam, a 25 ft tall structure remains as a transcendent homage to our forefathers who succumbed to premature death, was inaugurated and presented before the Nation by Union Cabinet Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs, Sri. Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy.

25 ft tall mathematical sculpture[6] in wood, Mahaganitham unveiled and presented by renowned artist Sri. M.V. Devan at Aluva U.C. College in 2001.[7]

28 ft tribute sculpture titled Kattamaram, dedicated to mariners who perished at sea. The cement sculpture was constructed for the Kochi Merchant Navy Club in alliance with the Ministry of Shipping. The memorial was inaugurated by the Director-General of Shipping, Malini Shankar I.A.S. in 2019.[8]

26 ft tall Anchor sculpture commemorating India’s first man-made port, Willingdon Island; unveiled and presented before the nation in 2019 by Padma Bhushan Sri. Mohanlal. [9]

These and many more creations immortalize the virtuosity and depth of our culture and have paved the way for present and future generations to understand and commemorate our rich cultural heritage. They have added new facets to the art of sculpting by adopting and adapting novel methods and techniques to the existing ones. Every year, thousands of tourists from around the world visit the sites of these sculptures and return bearing witness to some of the greatest creations crafted by mankind. Further, several people earn their livelihood by making miniatures of these sculptures. These cultural edifices are a refreshing innovation in the art scene of our country.

Memorial Sculptures

Guruvayur Maraprabhu [1]

51ft tall terracotta idol, Guruvayur Maraprabhu, and grand metallic arch structure Kanakaprabhamandalam surrounding the idol. Environmental sculpture, symbolic of the spiritual bond between man and earth. The design and construction point to the union between man and nature highlighted in Indian Upanishads and Vedas. A summation of Vishnu Sahsranamam, it offers multiple connotations from various perspectives, like the one based on Purushothammayoga Vyakhyana from chapter 15 of The Bhagavad Gita. Thousands of craftsmen labored round the clock to complete this mammoth sculpture based on Japanese Zen design.

The crores of devotees who visit the sculpture annually have played a major role in strengthening the stature art of sculpture-making in India and the nation’s culture itself. The sculpture’s contributions in opening up new dimensions in terracotta art are to be noted. Miniature replicas and spiritual souvenirs spread the message of environment protection.

The cosmic radiance emitting from the idol invokes the feelings of serenity and bliss in the minds of devotees. This cultural heritage infused with rare medicinal herbs and ayurvedic formulations has been standing as a resplendent expression of the art form for the past twenty-five years and shall continue to stay so for a thousand more. [4]

Mysore Moolikeswaran[2]

The 45 ft high terracotta idol is situated in Ganapathy Sachidananda Ashram, Mysore. The sculpture, which is symbolically representative of the entire spectrum of ayurvedic medicinal herbs, it provides respite to those tormented by ailments. From across the globe, crores of people visit this cultural art heritage annually. The legacy and the idol itself shall remain for a thousand years more, relieving the sick from their sufferings.


Mahaganitham is a wooden sculpture that promulgates the importance of mathematics as the basis for the very existence of the universe itself.[10] On his visit to Kerala, the former president of our nation, Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam planted an Ashoka tree next to this sculpture and described the artwork as “the perfect blending of art and science”. This artwork has been praised by many reputed personalities including Richard Stallman, the proponent of the Free Software movement. The sculpture inspires students to subsume qualities like creativity, determination, focus and aim towards a goal.


A global maritime memorial; it is the Union Shipping Ministry’s tribute to the brave seafarers who’ve sacrificed their lives at sea. The sculpture can be easily comprehended by people from any country, without any explanation, and this universality is what makes it special. This aesthetically unique artwork narrates the tale of maritime travel from the time of ancient logwood rafts to modern yachts. Global tourists from all extremes of the world, people engaged in maritime travel, and many more visit and pay their respect to this magnificent creation. The sculpture made from cement and other materials familiarise the generations with novel technologies.

The Anchor- Willingdon Island Commemorative Sculpture[9]

The Anchor is a sculpture made to commemorate the man-made port of Willingdon Island in Kochi. It has been constructed using the anchor salvaged from the dredging ship that helped create the island.[6] The anchor is about a century old. The sculpture which has the reclaimed anchor as the centerpiece features a large stone floor with a sculpture of the dredger “Lord Willingdon” and its description in clay letterings, both embossed on a large wall. This sculpture invokes great curiosity in students and researchers from scientific and sociological disciplines.

Major Camp Works

Pottery Village Workshop

In 1992, organized a four-month-long workshop at Arivacode village in Nilambur, the hub of pottery in Kerala, and created more than 10,000 sculptures, 15 ft high urns, and several handicraft items for daily use. The artisans were introduced to numerous craft forms practiced in and around different parts of the world. A grand exhibition was arranged in Ernakulam when the camp concluded and opened the gates of this exotic village to the public. Numerous traditional artisans learned how to make a livelihood using their traditional crafts, unfolding a new chapter in the annals of the cultural history of India. With his help and guidance, the village has now transformed into a completely self-sufficient community.

Shilpayagam Camp

Actively spearheaded and organized a four-month-long sculpting camp, a dynamic event participated by around 800 traditional terracotta artisans and academicians. The hands-on workshop involved interactive teaching-learning sessions between the participants themselves, culminating with the crafting and assembling of almost 50,000 sculptures. These were exhibited at a two-month-long exhibition at Ernakulam, which further enlivened and opened up new avenues for the traditional art scene in the country. Lakhs of people visited the exhibition, which also provided much exposure to the rural artisans who thus found new means of employment.


Having worked very closely with nature, the artist believes in the sanctity and the need to respect nature. Promoting the harithageethaprana message, encouraging everyone to plant at least one sapling, to replenish the world with fresh air for the posterity, in return for the air that humans have breathed and used in their lifetime. This message is promoted with the aid of miniature models of the world’s largest terracotta sculptures, Maraprabhu and Mysore Moolikeswaran. Many renowned personalities including Prime Minister, Sri Narendra Modi, and actor, Amitabh Bachchan have supported the mission by receiving Harithageetha souvenirs.

Awards and Recognitions

  • Conferred with ‘Aasthana Vidwan’ title- The highest award of Mysore Ganapathy Sachchidananda Ashram
  • Received numerous awards and recognitions from various cultural and spiritual centres across Kerala.
  • Felicitated by the Shipping Ministry.
  • Featured in numerous news media in India and abroad.

Upcoming Projects

  • Gajapathi- 51 ft high sculpture of Lord Ganapathi riding atop 108 elephants; at Guruvayoor elephant camp sanctuary. [11]
  • Akaalamrithyumokshasthoopam- 108 ft high sculpture paying homage to the departed souls.
  • Annadana Prabhu- 51 ft high sculpture of Lord Ayyappa in Sabarimala.


  1. 1.0 1.1 DESK, SERVICE. "Guruvayoor Maraprabhu". Retrieved 2020-08-13.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Vajrotsava". Star of Mysore. 2017-05-20. Retrieved 2020-08-13.
  3. May 1, Sanjith Sidhardhan /; 2017; Ist, 00:00. "maraprabhu: Once I complete a sculpture, I detach myself from it and don't take credit either: Artist PV Ramachandran | Kochi News - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2020-08-13.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Keralam, Haindava (2011-06-24). "Kanakaprabha of Guruvayur Maraprabhu in progress". Haindava Keralam (in മലയാളം). Retrieved 2020-08-13.
  5. "Maraprabhu (Guruvayur) - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2020-08-13.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Sep 3, TNN / Updated:; 2019; Ist, 10:15. "Anchoring a part of the Kochi's history | Kochi News - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2020-08-13.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Official Website of UC College". rineesh.50webs.com. Retrieved 2020-08-13.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "A memorial for seafarers". The Hindu. Special Correspondent. 2018-12-27. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2020-08-13.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Dedication ceremony of the Memorial : Anchor of Dredger "LORD WILLINGDON" by Cine Artist Shri Mohanlal". Merchant Navy Club, Kochi. 2019-09-01. Retrieved 2020-08-13.
  10. "The Mathematics Sculpture". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 2020-08-13.
  11. May 1, Sanjith Sidhardhan /; 2017; Ist, 00:00. "maraprabhu: Once I complete a sculpture, I detach myself from it and don't take credit either: Artist PV Ramachandran | Kochi News - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2020-08-13.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)

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