In Odisha ,a unique type of art form is developed at Puri . But it spreads all over the world . To carve a sand sculpture , the raw material is the only clean and fine grained sand mixed with water . With the help of this type of sand and with the blessings of God and by the magic of fingers , an artist can carve a beautiful and attractive sculpture on the beach.
Although not historically proved , there is an interesting story in the Odishan myths regarding the origin of sand sculpture like follows :-
" Poet Balaram Das, the author of Dandi Ramayan was a great devotee of Lord Jagannath .Once during Ratha Yatra (Car Festival), he tried to climb the chariot of Lord Jagannath to offer his prayer . Since he was not allowed by the priests of the chariot to climb it and also insulted by them . With a great frustration and humiliation he came to the beach (Mahodadhi) and carved the statues of Lord Jagannath , Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra on the Golden sand . Then there he started praying and worshiping these statues . His devotion was so strong and deep that the original statues vanished from the chariot and appeared at that place where Balaram das was worshiped ."
Although the above stanza has no solid historical support , but it is evident that from the period of Balaram Das , the people of Puri are acquainted with the carving of sculpture on sand . The period of Balaram das as mentioned in history was fourteenth century A.D. Hence sand sculpturing in Puri is not a new phenomenon , but it is at least seven hundred years old .
Now-a-days , pupils are acquainted with the stone sculpturing. So stone sculpturing is treated as the first step of sand sculpturing . The carving on sand is more easier and quicker than carving on a rigid stone . So it is a easy process of learning the art of carving on sand . So within a short period of time , a pupil gets a clear cut idea about the carving . Though these sand sculptures are very easily eye catching and transferable , It is also destroyed easily. That's why the artists does not continue this type of art for a longer period.
With the upliftment of tourism, this wonderful art form receive a high prestige and popularization. The outcome appreciation of tourists, encourage the artist to do well. Without any motive, these artists are dedicated their life for the development and popularization of this art. By their dedicated efforts, they are able to internationalized this art form of Puri.
There are very few people who leave their foot prints on sands. One of them is Sudarsan Pattnaik. He has magic fingers, with unlimited potentials and with immense heat to create some thing new on sand. He had always a dream that he would win a prize in an international level. For his excellent talent he travels many countries like London, France, Scotland, China, Holand, Singapore, Denmark and Italy. He is also appreciated by many for his attractive sand sculpture. Now he became an international artist. In the World Masters Sand Sculpture Championship held at Italy in July 2001 he represented India and got 3rd prize as first Indian . "Golden Sand Art Institute " which is an open air institute in Puri Beach behind Mayfair Hotel started in the year 1995. Around 50 students are taking training in this institute including tourists.Tourists can take basic 7-10 days familiarization course. Beautiful gallery on the beach can be observed in the beach in the afternoon from 4-6 P.M. The institute is run by Mr Sudarsan Patnaik, e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org , Marichikote Lane, Puri-752001, Odisha,India