CHENNAI, INDIA, September 8, 2011 : Renowned sculptor and architect V Ganapathi Sthapati passed away on Tuesday evening. He was 84. The architect, known for his mastery of the Vasthu Shilpa Shastra and a Padma Bhushan awardee, passe
d away due to multiple organ dysfunction at a private hospital in the city.
Sthapati’s famous works of architecture and design include the Valluvar Kottam in Chennai and the 133-feet high statue of Thiruvalluvar off the coast of Kanyakumari, which he designed to signify the 133 chapters of the ancient Tamil ethical treatise Thirukkural.
Sthapati is also known for his design and oversight of the construction of the Tamil University in Thanjavur. His death comes even as work on the famed Iraivan Temple in Hawaii (at the headquarters of Hinduism Today magazine), which he designed and directed, moves towards completion. Sthapati is also remembered to his contributions to the modern understanding of the Agama Shastras with respect to Shilpa and Vasthu Shastras. He had served as the principal of the Government College of Architecture and Sculpture and has been known for pushing measures to bring academic acceptance to the traditional architectural codes and disciplines of India. He is survived by wife Dakshnavathi.
Sthapati was born in 1927 to sculptor Vaidyanatha Sthapati and Velammal in Pillayarpatti, a village near Karaikudi. He hailed from a family of sculptors. His ancestors built the famous Brihadeeswara Temple in Thanjavur. He authored many books on the philosophical principles of Sthapatya Veda and offered practical examples of the rhythm and creation of rhythm-bound forms that give rise to structures.
DMK chief M Karunanidhi condoled the master builder’s demise. “I offer my condolences to the family of Ganapathi Sthapathi. His death is a great loss to the world of architecture and sculpture,” the former CM said.
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More About Ganapati Sthapati
USA, September 9, 2011: As of his passing, this is a summary of Wikipedia’s article about Ganapati Sthapati:
Vaidyanatha Ganapati Sthapati (1927-2011) was a Sthapati and head of the College of Architecture and Sculpture in the Vastu Shastra tradition ascribed to the sage Mamuni Mayan.
Sthapati was born in 1927 to sculptor Sri Vaidyanatha Sthapati and Smt. Velammal in Pillayarpatti, a village near Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu, India. He was born into a Vishwabrahmin family. His family tradition claims descent from the architects who created the Brihadeeswara Temple of Tanjore, TN, India.
Sthapati attended Dr. Alagappa Chettiar College, Karaikudi, and graduated with a degree in mathematics. After his graduation, he became a Sthapati at Palani Murugan Temple, Palani, TN, India. He resigned this post after the death of his father, who had served as principal of The School of Architecture and Sculpture at Mamallapuram from 1957 to 1960. He succeeded his father as the Principal of the Government College of Architecture and Sculpture.
From the 1980s, Sthapati campaigned to restore and elevate the status of traditional Hindu architecture in modern Indian society, by affiliating courses to the University of Madras and offering degree courses, bringing about a revival of Vastu Shastra.
After retirement from government service, he established the Vaastu Vedic Trust and the Vaastu Vedic Research Foundation, aimed at research, development, and globalization of Vaastu Shastra. He is also the head of the professional guild named “V. Ganapati Sthapati & Associates.” Dr. Sthapati initiated the development of The American University of Mayonic Science and Technology as an authorized institution to teach this body of knowledge in the western world.
Sthapati served as architect for several buildings and sculptures, foremost among them:
* Sculpture of Tamil poet and saint Thiruvalluvar–Thiruvalluvar Statue at the southern tip of India at Kanyakumari, TN, India
* Design and Construction of University buildings including the Administrative block and library for Tamil University in Tanjore.
* Design and Construction of Valluvar Kottam in Chennai, TN, India.
* The Rajagopuram of Sri Ramar Temple and Sri Ganesh Shiva Durga Temple at The
* Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago complex Lemont, Illinois, USA.
* Sri Murugan Temple, Nadi-Fiji islands.
* The San Marga Iraivan Temple, Kauai, Hawaii.
* Granite sculpture of the Madhavi–heroine of the Tamil epic Silappathikaram, erected in an Art Gallery in Poompuhar, Chennai, TN, India.
* Buddha statue in Hussainsagar Lake, Hyderabad.