Suralu Venkataramana Bhat

Suralu Venkataramana Bhat

I am Suralu Venkataramana Bhat, born in a small village Suralu of Udupi district in a family of priests.

Having taught about Shlokas, mantras and worship in my childhood, I was put into the family profession.

After higher primary, I completed Samskrutha Kaavya and Saahitya for 2 years and studied Vedas for another 3 years and I started to practise the same as I was the first amongst five other sons.

Even after doing all this, there was a bit of dissatisfaction from this field. I completed my higher secondary education through correspondence and then decided that there is a bigger calling for me.

Amidst high opposition from elders, I left home to Mysore, where I joined Chamarajendra technical institute for sculpture study.

Not knowing much about this field, I just joined for a change. I completed 3 years of basic course in sculpture there, and during these 3 years,I stayed at a rooftop stair in a small mess (hotel) where I had to work as a maani(hotel boy) for my food and stay.

I wanted to do higher studies in the same line, but was not given a chance in any institution. For another 2 years, I went back home and did agriculture.

In 1988 I came to Bangalore with my parents and uncle, and got an opportunity to visit an eminent sculptor Sri. DEVALAKUNDA VADIRAJ, as he was known to my uncle, this one meeting changed the way of my life.

I got to stay with him for 8 years in a Gurukula system, and in the span of these years we were taken for study tours to Beluru Halebeedu and many other ancient temples.

I was spellbound to see the art and architecture there and had a thought that why should I not continue this Hoysala style architecture which was discontinued 700 years ago with the Hoysala dynasty.

By the guidance of Sri Vadiraj, I became the instructor for sculpture at KAUSHALYA, the project for artisans sponsored by Canara bank, and served there for 3 years.

Later Sri Vadiraj appointed me as the assistant director for the camp at KAJURAHO, sponsored by south central zone cultural centre, Nagpur which was completed successfully.

With the support of my, I started an institution of my own, KADAMBA in 1989. At this time, I dedicated 3 years to study about temple architecture by visiting hundreds of temples. Later I trained about 30-35 students in this particular line under my institution.


I always had a strong desire to reproduce the same Hoysala style temple for the present day but I knew it was not easy, because

  1. Much interactive carvings
  2. Difficult structure
  3. Availability of stone and its cost

The total cost of the temple and time would be huge, which made me to wait.

Finally in the year 2004 I got an opportunity to build a Hoysala style temple, I compromised with much bargain and decided to the temple without any profit for myself, that is cost to cost.

This is where my dream came true.

This temple was almost a replica of the style but small, having Jagathi 3 layers, horizontal rows of friezes of Elephants, Lions, Horses, Hamsas, Yalis and Scroll with figurative works, on top Flying Gandharvas, Yakshas in Devakosta ended with Eves Torana, A magnificent entrance with Dwara and Dwarapalakas ending with Elephants on both sides. The Makara Torana had a Natya Ganesha in the middle.


“By God’s grace I was lucky enough to marry Ratna TN in 1988, who was also a sculptor by profession.”


Works Abroad

Ganesha to Montreal Canada in 1998

22 idols to Connecticut Middletown, USA, out of which 8 and a half feet Sathyanarayana in 2000

20 idols to Milwaukee Wisconsin in 2001

11 idols to Las Vegas in 2002

10 feet height sitting Buddha to Lebanon in 2002 

Awards and Achievements 

Vishwakarma award from craft council of Karnataka in 1987

Kempegowda award from Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike(BBMP)

Suvarna Karnataka Award from Shilpakala Academy in 1998

Many other honour from local institutions

Served as the director for the camp of Alvas in Connecticut, Milwaukee and Las Vegas in 2010