Shri Rathnavarma Heggade & Maatrushree Ratnamma
Monolithic Bahubali statues dotted around the state of Karnataka play a vital role, if not the lead role, in making the state a traveler’s paradise. Added to the aesthetic value, these statues are the embodiment of spirituality, religion, architecture and most prominently collective human will. It remains a wonder how 57 and 42 feet monolithic statues were sculpted out and erected with such precision during the times of no motor technology or horse powered engines, but that did not stop a couple of intensely spiritual people from envisioning to reconstitute history in the 20th century.

Dharmasthala Bahubali

The idea of consecrating a Bahubali statue of the same olympic scale at Dharmasthala first initiated in the mind of Late. Shri Rathnavarma Heggade. The designation of Heggade came with just as many responsibilities as privileges, which was demonstrated during the times of Late. Shri Rathnavarma Heggade such that we still commemorate his contributions to Dharmasthala. It so prevailed as a custom that whenever a Mastakabhisheka took place, the Heggade family would play a key role in conducting the ceremonies by financially and personally supporting the event. What Late. Shri Rathnavarma Heggade observed was that Bahubali statues around the state contributed towards the holistic well being of a society, as they brought together people from all communities, spread the message of peace, as well as inculcated in people the essence of simplicity in the midst of celebrations. It occurred to him that such an aspect must be incorporated into the ambiance of Dharmasthala as well, which could enhance the divinity of the temple town further still. The vision was shared by Maatrushree Ratnamma who stood as the source of motivation through the entire process of bringing this vision to reality.

Sri Rathnavarma Heggade with family

Shri. K. B. Jinaraja Hegde, a famed lawyer who was a dear friend to Late. Shri Rathnavarma Heggade was the first man to be approached when it was determined that the statue will be erected in Dharmasthala. The vision took a concrete form under his enthusiastic support, after which there was no turning back. The conceptualization was inspired by a number of sentiments including spirituality and social welfare, but what it was mostly based on was courage. It had been more than 400 years since someone ventured in this direction of erecting a Bahubali statue of this scale. There was hardly any material to take ideas from, for the ancestral ways of doing it left no evidence. Late. Shri Rathnavarma Heggade took the bold step to start from scratch and gave it a lead, and the legacy was ferried to completion by his son Dr. D Veerendra Heggade.