I feel there is life inside all my idols, says Sthapathi from Chennai

“Every time I give life to a statue, it’s a proud moment for me,” says S Karthik, a Chennai resident, who is a sthapathi by profession. He has worked in various temples surrounding Porur and is well-known for his deft handwork and perfect finish of idols.

In an interaction with News Today, Karthik says, “I have been in this field for the last eight years and worked in various temples in Kundrathur, Mugalivakkam, Moulivakkam, Thuraipakkam and more.”

This 26-year-old’s passion for art and designing began after he joined the Mamallapuram College of Arts. He states that this is among the very few professions where you need spiritual concentration and connect.

“Whenever I take up a new project, I make sure I have that connect with my work. I don’t rest until I am satisfied wit the outcome of the idols that I had envisioned in my mind. I feel there is life inside all my idols,” the sthapathi adds.


He states, “For a sthapathi, there are certain rules that should be followed: being punctual, having holy thoughts and understanding the principles governing a temple’s layout (Agamas).”

Currently, Karthik is working for Chandramouleeswarar temple in Moulivakkam. “To give a divine aura to the temple, special ceiling paintings are also being done. We lie down on a scaffolding and paint the ceiling with images of deities or beautiful flowers. It is a team effort and we do our best.”

“Other sculptors working under me risk their life on dangerous scaffolds. But since we do it with passion, our work will speak volumes,” he adds. The other important information he said was that the figurines on the gopuram will get panchavarna coating.