100 Santa Claus Sculptures Come to (a Beach) Town

Sudarshan Patnaik, sand sculptures, Santa Claus
100 sculptures on Puri beach set world record for most Santa Claus images in sand.

PURI BEACH, INDIA — After working for nearly 48 hours, internationally acclaimed sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik and 20 of his students achieved world record status on Christmas eve. Patnaik and his dedicated team of "elves" successfully carved 100 sand sculptures of Santa Claus on the Puri beach in India, finishing just in time for Christmas.

The seaside resort of Puri overlooks the Bay of Bengal and is one of the holiest Hindu pilgrimage places in India, a sacred venue for an endless number of those coming to pay homage to the Hindu deity Jagannath. “Puri is the place where sand art started in the 14th Century and the tourist inflow into Puri is another reason why I chose the awareness about global warming by carving images of Santa Claus,” Patnaik said.

Patnaik's environmental message "Save Earth from Global Warming" was carved directly into one of the Santa sculptures. "The popularity of Santa is growing by the year among children," Patnaik explained. "The message on global warming through Santa is especially for them as they alone can convince elders to exercise restraint and avert the looming disaster for earth from global warming."

The 33-year-old Patnaik has participated in more than 40 international sand sculpture festivals and competitions and won several prizes. In 2006 he created the world's longest Santa Claus in sand that measured 100-feet, and last year he sculpted the tallest Santa in sand that stood 35-feet high.


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