Ganesha idol making starts in Bangalore

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Bangalore, Aug 28 : The production of Lord Ganesha idols is in full swing in the Information Technology city, where Ganesha Chaturthi festival is celebrated with full enthusiasm.

The craftsmen have rolled their sleeves to deliver the best and maximum.

"At our studio and allied outlets, we have over a lakh of Ganeha idols. They are from one-inch tiny idols to 60 feet high Ganesha. Our responsibility lies till we hand over the idol to the customer after which he has to safely ferry it home," said Navin, marketing in-charge of idols.

Srinivas, an artisan, who owns a studio making Ganesha idols, inherited this business from his forefathers. Now, the entire family of Srinivas is engaged in the industry.

Skilled labourers are specially called from Tamil Nadu during the festival.he Tamil Nadu workers play a major role in the finishing and painting work of the idols.

Idols are available in various heights ranging from one inch to 16 feet. The designs also vary according to the demands of the customers and the recent events in the country.

This time the craftsmen have beautifully carved the depiction of Haveri firing on the farmers and Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa praying to Lord Ganesha. Abhinav Bhindra, the golden boy of India has also been depicted.

"We have 300 to 400 designs for the customers to choose. We have theme-based idols too like the ones in the past when we had one on Kargil conflict. Last year, there was one idol of Fatima baby, the child from Pakistan who underwent a complicated heart surgery here in Bangalore. This year, there is the theme on firing on farmers who were agitating over the supply of fertilisers," said Srinivas.

More than fifty thousand idols are sold during the festival time. The rate of each idol varies from Rs.10 to Rs.15000.

These idols not only find a market in India, but also are much appreciated in UK and US.

"We have been catering to the needs of buyer-devotees from the USA and UK and Europe. We send the idols from here to Mangalore port from where the idols are shipped. The idols for foreign buyers may range from six inches to seven feet at the most. The tiny idols are sold for rupees 60 to 70. An agent buys them in bulk, nearly three months ahead of the festival and ships them," said Srinivas.

The traditional art of idol making has gone through a paradigm shift in the past few years.

But the basic theme and spirit has remained unchanged. Though the problems like shortage of space, raw materials permission from the authorities continue to haunt the idol makers, blessing of Lord Ganesha have taken forward their business. By K G Vasuki

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