At Puri Jagannath Dham, a unique art form is being developed, the "essence of which transgresses all over the world." To carve a sand sculpture, clean form grained sand is mixed with water. With the blessings of God and by the magic fingers of artist Shri Ranjan Kumar Ganguly, sand can become an attractive-sand-sculpture.
In India, pupils are acquainted with stone curving sculpture. Stone carving usually precedes sand sculpturing. Carving on sand is much easier and quicker than on a rigid stone. Ranjan says he found it easy learning sand sculpture. Within a short period of time he got a clear-cut idea about carving in sand. These Sand sculptures are eye catching and transferable. There is a big down-side, however. The sculpture is temporary and can be washed or blown away. That's why many artists do not continue this type of art for long. Cameras make it possible to keep the sculpture for a long time as a photo.
Sand sculpture is popular among the booming tourist industry in Puri. Very few people leave their Foot prints on sands. It is said that Ganguly has magic fingers and "hand with mind." Ganguly attributes his fantastic imagination for creating new things on sand as a gift from God. His dream is to exhibit his sand art and paintings in throughout India.
Ganguly has exhibited his sand sculpture at Lalit Kala Academy at Puri, National Karval Festival Bhubeneswar, National Indian Road Congress Conference and Bhubeneswar. During Durga Puja, an annual Hindu festival, he has exhibited his sand sculptures at Jaisalmer, Deepawali at Pokaran (Rajasthan), during the Shree Khatra Utsav Puri, Shree Khatra Book fair at Puri Zila School, Puri, Book fair at Talchar, Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Puna, Hyderabad, Tatanagar, Goa, Haryana, Punjab, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, and Gujrat. He has also exhibited in the Desert Festival at Sam (Jaisalmer), Barmer district, Bundi district and many other places. His work is appreciated by many people for his attractive sand sculptures.
Ganguly is seeking government aid for his research and also needs help from the public to spread his sand art abroad. He says this help will encourage him and support him as well as give him a chance to show his sand sculpture talents in different places.
Shri Ranjan Kumar Ganguly was born in the coastal town called Jagannath in Puri, Orissa. He was inspired by his father, Sri Sukumar Ganguly, an eminent Oriya film producer and director. Ganguly first developed an interest in sand sculpture when he began visiting the sea beach at Puri with friends every day during his childhood. One day he got down in the sand and began carving faces of Hindu gods and goddesses. He says his early sculptures were not mature or popular because most didn't consider sand sculpturing to be a legitimate form of art. He began "carving" out his niche when he exhibited his sculpture in small towns in India.
Despite his early limitations he pursued his art because he saw his creativity as a gift from God. He took up the challenge to popularize sand art as a professional art form. He says his ultimate objective is to create awareness and enthusiasm for sand sculpture as an art form. He wishes to open a sand sculpture institute with locations in poor slum areas. He wants to give them a free education in sand sculpturing. He wants to do this so people can lift their lives beyond begging for money and food.