Tourism Department initiates steps for reconstructing the pillar

Strong winds razed one of the eight pillars surrounding the towering statue of ‘Dhyana Buddha’ here to the ground in the early hours of Thursday.

The pillar on the west side came down as it was lashed by gales accompanied by a brief but strong spell of rain, which virtually blew off the pillar, whose construction quality is being blamed for the collapse.

These 20-ft pillars resemble the famous Ashoka pillars that are seen at major Buddhist heritage sites in the country and are the main attraction for the tourists.

The design of the 125-ft-tall Buddha statue, the meditation hall (Dhyana mandiram), the pillars called ‘Ayaka pillars’, and other constructions around it are drawn from the features of over 50 Buddhist sculptures.

Inquiry ordered

The Tourism Department has initiated steps for reconstructing the pillar in consultation with the project in-charge R. Mallikarjuna Rao, who played an instrumental role in giving shape to this landmark. An inquiry was ordered.