Pillars depicting ancient history come up at IIT, Ropar

Stone-carved pillars which are inspired by the Indus Valley Civilisation have been constructed at Indian Institute of Technology(IIT) Ropar.

They have been constructed at a budget of around ₹4 crore at the entrance of the permanent campus of the institute which is situated on the bank of the
Sutlej river.

Stone Oasis, a company based in Jaipur, designed the four pillars.

The project, supported by the Archaeological Survey of India, is a homage to the intellectual progress and excellence achieved in Ropar, which is home to the new IIT campus and stands over the roots of the Indus Valley Civilisation.

It was executed in-house by the Stone Oasis team with the assistance of several Jaipur-based craftsmen and artisans and architects and art historians.

The construction took over a year to complete.

It is one of the largest works employing bas relief carvings other than temples.

It is spread over 1,600 metres and consists of four 12 metre (41 feet) high pillars with 16 facades in total.

Each facade carries bas relief carvings depicting a unique story built around central figures unearthed from the Indus Valley Civilisation such as the figure of the iconic dancing girl, Pashupati, likely the earliest depiction of Hindu god Shiva.

These pillars have metallic molecular structure on top of them, highlighting the fusion of contemporary and ancient knowledge.

“Our initial plan for the pillars was mosaic work with motifs from the Indus Valley Civilisation. However, there was a proposal to explore stone as an alternative by the Stone Oasis Company. We decided that stone carving was more apt for the location as it reflects the timelessness of the craft of the people from the earliest civilisation known to man. I think the juxtaposition of the carved pillar with the molecular forms on top gives an impression that we are building modern science on the base of a great civilisation. This could possibly be the largest work of art undertaken in a university campus,” said IIT Ropar director, Sarit Kumar Das.

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