Bangalore: As Ganesh Chaturthi draws closer, the markets are reverberating with the sounds of skilled idol makers giving the final, finishing touches to the lovable, elephant god which is visible on every alley and bylane, all through Vishveshpuram and a few other areas of Bangalore. We see tiny figurines to massive Ganesha idols measuring 25 feet high that are beautifully moulded in plaster of paris, decorated and depicted in various postures, colours and sizes.
Craftsmen who create Ganesha do not limit to only traditional idol making as they now take customised orders also. This year, eco-friendly Ganeshas are more in demand with the government and various NGOs spreading the need to switch over to images made from mud and natural dyes. Ganesha as Bala Gangadhar Tilak is the all time favourite of M Srinivas who has been selling Ganesha and Gowri idols on RV Road for the past 67 years. “It was Bal Gangadhar Tilak who popularised Ganesha festival during the freedom struggle. It is his day too and my favourite festival,” he says.
Although Ganesha idols comes out in different avatars every festival, this year’s flavour is Spiderman Ganesha and some have even depicted as Eega based on film star Sudeep’s hit movie. Apart from the traditional images, there are other types of Ganeshas dressed as Badagala (farmers surrounded by other farmers and cows). M Srinivas says, “Why should America only have a superhero. We want to show our heroes in the form of God. This time, we got an order to make Lord Ganesha as a Spiderman that hardly has a belly with short tusks.”
Craftsmen who create Ganesha do not limit to only traditional idol making as they now take customised orders also.
Ganesha also gets a fly look. Inspired by the film, Eega, fans have created cartoons of housefly in different forms and now designed Ganesha as a fly, which has entirely changed the looks of God. Mahesh Kumar along with his friends has decided to go for a Ganesha idol which is in form of a hibiscus flower (Dasavala or Mandara hoovu). “We friends decided to do something traditional but yet different from others. It was a customised idol which we bought for Rs 10,000. We are keeping it on display for five long days at the Weavers colony on Bannerghatta road.” says Mahesh.
The lord has been idolised in different forms and sizes only to cater to the devotee’s tastes. The other creations of the elephant god includes Padma Ganesha (Ganesha sitting inside a large pink lotus), Shanka Ganesha (the idol in conch shell), Siddhi Buddhi Ganesha, Ele Ganesha (Lord seated in a huge leaf) and the Shiva Parvathi Ganesha.
In contrast to this, the idols in different states in the country portray a different avatar. Balmuri Ganesha (right sided trunk) also called as Dakshina murti is not worshipped in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Delhi. While Bengalis have Ganesha idols similar to Durga idols. Ganesha are seen in different forms like politicians, bridegrooms, Baala Ganesha, and you name it, the artisans customises it for you.
The trend to buy eco-friendly images is on the rise in the city and they are also exported to America. “Every year, we send small sized Ganeshas by ship for the Hindu population residing in the US which is usually three months before the festive season,”says Srinivas.