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Creative Ganesha idols up for grabs

Syed Muthahar Saqaf
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Handmade clay idols brought from Kondaiyampettai and Tiruvellarai

take your pick:Colourful Vinayagar idols kept for sale at a roadside shop at Subramaniapuram in Tiruchi on Tuesday. PHOTO:R.M. RAJARATHINAM.
take your pick:Colourful Vinayagar idols kept for sale at a roadside shop at Subramaniapuram in Tiruchi on Tuesday. PHOTO:R.M. RAJARATHINAM.

Heralding the Vinayagar Chathurthi celebrations that fall on Wednesday, temporary roadside shops selling creative idols of Lord Ganesha of various sizes and models have sprung up in various parts of the city and elsewhere in the district.

Powdered with gold dust, handmade clay statues of elephant-headed God Ganesa have been brought by villagers from Kondaiyampettai in Tiruvanaikovil and Tiruvellarai.

While many prefer to set up temporary stalls on roadsides at thoroughfares near Gandhi Market, Cantonment, Chathiram Bus Stand, Central Bus Stand, and Subramaniapuram, a few others depend on hired push carts to be used as mobile sales unit at various residential colonies. Cashing in on the festive season is Solaimuthu of Tiruvellarai village who has displayed Lord Ganesha idols worth thousands of rupees on a makeshift roadside shop at Subramaniapuram in the city. With intricately-designed ‘Valampuri’ and ‘Idampuri’ Vinayagar idols stealing the eye among clay models, each piece at the little shop is crafted to perfection. The ‘Valampuri’ Vinayagar sports its trunk on the right while the ‘Idampuri’ Vinayagar on the left.

Ever since the trader put up the stall on Tuesday morning, he has been getting stream of visitors. “I have Lord Ganesa idols priced between Rs.30 and Rs. 300. Many people of Tiruvellarai have put up similar stalls in various parts of the city,” he says.

Devotees prefer to make their purchase at major centres such as Tiruvanaikovil where hereditary artisans make idols with special designs.

The artisans take about 15 minutes for making small idols. Making of the Ganesha idols is done without haste and customers wait patiently for their orders while curiously watching the process of this intricate craft. The ‘Ganesh darshan’ exhibition organised by Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation underway at Poompuhar showroom has been attracting a large number of visitors for the past two days.

Made of different materials, including paper mache, clay and marble dust, the idols’ price ranges from Rs.50 and have been in good demand, says Xavier, manager of the showroom.

The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board has notified select water bodies, including the Cauvery, in parts of the district, for immersing idols after the procession .

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