The Telangana Martyrs Memorial in Hyderabad is created in the shape of a ‘diya with light’ and symbolises hope
When the Telangana Martyrs Memorial in Hyderabad opens its doors to visitors, artist Ramana Reddy who designed it in the shape of a ‘diya with light.’ is confident it will put the State on a global stage. “It is a moment of pride and a rare honour,” says Ramana referring to the steel structure. Ramana had shown four designs to Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, who felt the earthen lamp design matched his vision. “There is a ceremonial use of light in different religions. Light shows us the way and we also pay tribute through it. It also symbolises hope,” he says.
Being built on a three-acre land (2,85,000 square feet constructed space) next to Lumbini Park near Husain Sagar, the memorial, created out of 300 tonnes of stainless steel (using 316L grade steel and 1,700 tones of mild steel) stands tall at 44 metres, with a width of 45-metres, depth of 26-metres and a circumference of 150-metres. Multi-purpose project President of the Hyderabad Art Society, Ramana’s focus is on making the space look contemporary, provide a quiet environment to reflect while paying tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for the formation of the State. The six-storied steel diya also houses a museum, libraries, a convention hall (with a seating capacity of 800 people) and a restaurant.Having lived in Europe for 14 years, Ramana wanted his design to be on a par with international standards. Hyderabad already has a memorial created at Gun Park, a monument built for the 369 students who died during the 1969 agitation for a separate Telangana State. “This is a contemporary work,” he adds. While the structure has been designed and supervised by Ramana, a team of 25 experts have been working on its various aspects including safety. Ramana walks us through the site on a humid afternoon and informs the cladding work is to take off. The ongoing work so far incurred an expenditure of ₹80 crore. “A water fountain on top will add beauty to this sculpture. I feel proud and honoured to do my bit and contribute to this lifetime project,” concludes Ramana.