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sudarsan pattnaik

ChangeBlazers – When SandArt and Creativity Meets Environmental Cause

Societal change can be brought not only through actively getting involved in community benefit programs but also through marrying your art with a cause.

Among numerous Indian environment celebrities, one that really stands out is Mr. Sudarsan Pattnaik, one of the most well-known personalities in the world for his sand art. If Google has its Doodle, India has its own Sudarsan Pattnaik. Google uses digital means, Mr. Pattnaik uses his own hand, fingers, and craftsmanship to create beautiful and colorful themes.

We bring you the story of Mr. Pattnaik, his life, achievement, and especially his contribution towards the environment & societal issues through art as part of our series called The ChangeBlazers.

Early Life and Background

Sudarsan Pattnaik is an Indian sand artist from Odisha who has made India proud with his magnificent sand sculptures. He is the first artist to introduce sand art in India.  It is hard to believe that he has not received any formal training in his childhood and learned it all by himself.

Sudarsan Pattnaik was born to a poor family and could not afford a proper education but because of his creativity and unique art of making beautiful sand sculptures, destiny dragged him to the world full of fame and money.

At the age of seven years, he was so dedicated to learning and improving sand art that he made hundreds of sand sculptures in the process. The result of his pure dedication is that he became the first and world-famous Indian sand artist and was recognized for his huge list of achievements and awards credited to his name.


The achievement of Sudarsan Pattnaik’s is just remarkable and endless.

In the year 2014, he was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India.

Mr. Pattnaik has participated in more than 60 international sand art festivals and championships around the world and won 27 championship prizes for the country.  His creations have won many awards and appreciation from the likes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Former UN Environment Chief Erik Solheim among others.

In Russia at the 1st Moscow International Championship, he won the People’s Choice Awards. His tallest, Santa Clause sand sculpture which was 15 feet high registered his name in the world books. 

On November 15, 2019, in Rome, The sand sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi, which was created by Sudarsan Pattnaik, has won the Italian Golden Sand Art Award 2019, at a ceremony, and makes him the first Indian to win prestigious Italian award for sand art.

Art & Creativity

His sculptures are focused on all kinds of themes – current affairs, festivals, national & international days, public awareness, saving environment, peace & religion, social issues, global issues, famous personalities, and anything that motivates people for the good.

Whether it is a sand sculpture at Puri sea beach to raise awareness against the use of plastic Odisha Beat Plastic Pollution, or a beautiful Radha-Krishna sand art all about spreading love & care or his sand-art that paid tribute to the Missile Man & former India’s President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.

One of the most applauded sand sculptures which were appreciated worldwide is ‘The Black Taj Mahal’ sculpture. In 2013, at Saint Peter’s Burg 12th International sand sculpture competition he won a gold medal.

………….the art and the achievements are endlessssssss

When Sudarsan Pattnaik calls for Environment

One of his major successes is his concern for the environment, sustainability, and societal changes. It speaks a lot about the man who put so much focus, attention to detail, and craftsmanship to create various sand forms to depict messages on social change. 

It would be difficult to count the number of his sand art he would have made talking about this message.

On New Year’s Day, the sand sculpture consists of letters 2020 surrounded with green color to highlight the theme of ‘plant more trees.’

Water Conservation through Sand Art

On the occasion of ‘Anant Chaturdashi’, sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik has created a sculpture of a running tap at Odisha’s Puri beach with a message “DON’T WASTE WATER’’ at the bottom of sand sculpture.

Control Air Pollution

To regulate air pollution Mr.Pattnaik created a sand sculpture on Delhi’s air pollution, at a beach in Puri………with a message “OUR HEALTHY LIFE IN OUR HAND’’

Road safety

As per the report in World Road Statistics 2018, India rank was number 1 in road accidents, with more than 150k deaths. More than 50% of the deaths happen between the age of 18 – 45 years. The above number is a real cause of concern, to promote road safety, the sand art depicted a national highway with a message ‘Safe Road Safe Lives’.

On World Environment Day

Popular sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik showcased his talent with a special artwork on this occasion on Puri’s sea beach. He shares the sand sculpture with the message, “It’s time #ForNature’’ to boost awareness about the importance of protecting the environment. Make the planet #Green”

Protecting Biodiversity

Depicting lush green trees and a couple of animals, the message read “Save our Habitat”

Beat Plastic Population

Extending his contribution to the cause, internationally acclaimed sand artist Mr.Pattnaik created an installation on the Puri sea beach to create awareness among society about plastic pollution. With the subject line “Beat Plastic Pollution”.

World Wildlife Day

Forests are not just about trees, but a complete ecosystem, each one plays an equal role is the survival of the planet. On the occasion of World Wildlife Day on the 3rd of March, the art called for “Save our Wildlife”.

Awareness towards Coronavirus

According to today’s condition or circumstances, Mr.Pattnaik makes a sand sculpture depicting a doctor wearing protective facemasks with a message reading ‘We salute doctors for saving our lives.’, at Puri beach in Puri.

……..and much more.

Though he was born in a poor family, destiny has reserved something special for him by the serene sea under the soft sunshine striving to leave imprints on the sand of time – that’s what the International Sand Artist is all about.

Sudarsan Pattnaik never fails to impress and with his thought-provoking artwork in the sand on Odisha’s Puri beach, which is also recognized as one of the Blue Flag beaches in India.

Here is a short video that includes Sudarsan Pattnaik for his contribution to making a positive and progressive change in society.



1 comment

  • Sudarshan Pattnaik is truly a big name in sand art. He is a genius and the best sand artist our country has. Would’ve loved to see some of his exemplary works in the article. I have marvelled at how he brings out intricate details and expressions in his art. For us, it is just sand. But for Sudarshan, it is an expansive canvas waiting to be moulded.

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Change Started is a platform that covers stories, news, research, analysis, opinions, best practices from around the world on issues that are important for the environment and protecting our Planet.

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