Bangalore: This year, the traditionally designed clay Ganesha idols that Karnataka artists specialise in, have found a few takers and idols designed using other raw materials like plaster of paris, chalk and papier-mache have witnessed an increased demand. According to the artists associations in the city, groups showcasing the festivities on large scale prefer plaster of paris idols as they are lightweight and economical. “A 12-feet clay ganesha idol would cost `10,000 and a plaster of paris Ganesha, designed here in the city would cost 20 percent less.
Besides, there are many other kinds of materials that have found takers. Eco-friendly Ganeshas, made of paper and glue mix called papier-mache have found an amazing demand since they dissolve easily in water causing little or no harm to aquatic life,” said Tilak Rao, member of the Basavanagudi artists group. Further, the associations in South and West Bangalore estimate that they have incurred 50 per cent less demand for the clay idols. “We have incurred 80 per cent losses this year because people do not want heavy Ganeshas.
"In many areas of South Bangalore, every family keeps one idol at least for three days. Since the festival is celebrated in a big way, we design over 150 idols hoping to start selling two days before the festival. This year, we have managed to sell only about 30 per cent of our total idols,” said R Kundan, a designer from Yediyur.
The traditionally designed clay Ganesha idols that Karnataka artists specialise in have found a few takers.
With almost all the bylanes of major market areas showcasing idols, the city turns into a hub of artistic material. “We wanted to get an eco-friendly Ganesha this year and so we are taking the lightweight chalk and paper idol. It costs between Rs 150 and 350 for a good 2-3 feet idol,” said Harish Raj, an entrepreneur from Hanumanthnagar.
Artists from the state believe that they have lost their business to migrant artists from Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. “They transport all the raw material through road and design the idols in Bangalore. Their Ganeshas receive orders even from different cities and districts in Karnataka. Our businesses has been affected badly, but the problem is, we have been designing clay idols for years and this is what we specialise in,” said Giriappa, an artist in Kalasipalyam. However, getting clay Ganeshas is a tradition that many old Bangalore families refuse to do away with, he added.