If you recall spotting the viral photo of a dual-toned Lord Murugan statue standing tall in black and gold last April, then you’re already familiar with the self-taught skills local photoshop artist Rames Harikrishnasamy harbours.
He claimed that the edit was simply a chance thought that occurred to him as he was working from home:
“The majority of the Hindu deities in the main shrines are carved in black stone, but when the temple priest begins to add jewellery and decorations like crowns, the deities take on an amazing appearance. I wanted to recreate the current Lord Murugan statue in Batu Caves in the same way,” he says.
Rames essentially purchased the original shot from a stock image website and then edited it to fit his vision.
Internet users immediately swarmed the comment sections of Rames’ Instagram and Facebook posts, universally applauding his work and many of them claiming to have assumed it was real. Others expressed their desire for the Batu Caves to consider the change.
This time of year, as devotees and tourists alike prepare for the prominent Thaipusam festival, which is believed to be the day that Lord Subramaniam, or Lord Muruga, rode a peacock, known as his vahana or vehicle, to appear before his followers.
Additionally, it recognises Lord Subramaniam’s victory over evil.
To commemorate the occasion and celebrate Malaysian talent, we compiled more of Rames’ stunning Murugan-themed edits, starting off with the unofficial image of Thaipusam in Malaysia – the 42.7 metre tall statue in Batu Caves:
Almost unnoticeable at first, Rames’ edit of a gold peacock accompanying the deity on the stand is perhaps one of his most realistic Photoshop illustrations of all. Symbolic as much as it is alluring, we can’t get enough of his idea to incorporate a peacock to these images, so here’s a similar edit:
Reconfirming that this is Photoshopped, because we can’t believe it ourselves.
Also, psst- if you’re visiting the Batu Caves temple this Thaipusam, keep an eye out for the beehive sprouting from below the Lord’s hand!
Next, pictured above is one of Rames’ concept art projects, Thanga Thamarai (golden lotus) Murugan, portrayed as a baby.
Scriptures state that Lord Murugan was born from one of the six sparks that Lord Shiva’s third eye emitted. Agni (the Fire God) gathered these sparks and deposited them onto Saravana, a pond where six children emerged on a lotus each.
As the son of Shivan and Parvati, Lord Murugan’s birth and childhood are commonly depicted in religious art and temples. Rames leaves us spoilt for choice with a vast variation of his ‘Baby Murugan’ works:
We’ll add in words of affirmation as well- something your family Whatsapp group would absolutely adore.
Finally, a Lord Murugan edit is incomplete without the Vel or trident, and Rames is the master of designing his very own adaptations of it. Here’s his first Vel project of 2023, which he deems his most intricate of all:
And here are some of his older Vel projects, because we simply can’t help it:
We genuinely believe that Rames’ art flawlessly balances visual appeal with devotion, faith and vital and accurate religious facts. What a way to honour Hinduism!
Can’t get enough of his projects? Visit Rames’ Instagram profile for behind-the-scenes clips, NFTs, affirmation cards and over 3,000 more incredible graphics featuring Hindu deities.