Tallest effigy at 35 ft. for Pedda Amberpet organisers

Shankar and his team of 25 craftsmen have been busy for the past few months to ensure the delivery of Ravana effigies before Vijayadashami.

Working long hours in their small workshop in a quiet by-lane of Kasarhatta, they are busy wrapping up orders, giving finishing touches to gigantic effigies in bamboo, jute and paper.

“We have a lot more orders this year from committees in the twin cities and also from Tandur, Kamareddy and Hayatnagar,” says K. Yadav, his uncle.

The cost of the effigies ranges from Rs.5,000 to Rs.10,000. “There is a lot of work involved. For instance, it takes five days to craft one head of Ravana with the crown and other details,” says Shankar.

While there are other artisans working on effigies in Charminar and Hussaini Alam parts of the city, the work of this quaint workshop stands apart.

“We are inarguably number one when it comes to Ravana effigies. Others too do make the effigy but they are smaller in size. We can deliver an effigy of any height as per order,” says a confidant Shankar, going back to finishing giant black shoes for a Ravana.

The largest effigy is for the organisers in Pedda Amberpet, at 35 ft., while the one for Borabanda is 25 ft. tall, he says. Shankar has made a 20 ft. tall effigy for Vijayadashmi celebrations near his house in Borabanda. Khairatabad, Exhibition Grounds at Nampally, L.B. Nagar, Nagole, Begumpet, Nizam College grounds, Borabanda, Amberpet, Hayatnagar, K.B.S. Colony, Moosapet, Hasmatpet, Karmanghat and K.S. Nagar are known for their Ravana dahan celebrations.

“We give the effigies to the organisers, who pack it with hay and crackers of their choice,” says Yadav, as he points at huge hollow frames – deftly crafted heads, bellies, limbs and accessories decorated with orange, deep blue, yellow and pink paper.

Their work doesn’t end with the Ravana effigies. “There are orders for ‘tumdi’ or traditional lantern for Deepavali already pouring in,” says Shankar.

For now, it’s time to celebrate the fitting finale of Dasara festivities with the burning of the Ravana effigy that marks the victory of good over evil.

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