Hyderabad

Khairatabad Ganesha idol to stand 61-feet tall this year

The outer shape of Ganesha idol made using 10,000 metres of jute cloth.

The outer shape of Ganesha idol made using 10,000 metres of jute cloth.  

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Workers from different parts of India race against time to finish it before Sept. 2

After showing a steady decline in height from 60 feet in 2014 to 57 feet in 2018, the Ganesha idol at Khairatabad is expected to reach 61 feet for the first time. The idol towers over the six-storey building adjacent to the site of installation were workers from different parts of the country are racing against time to finish it before September 2.

About 10,000 metres of jute cloth, enough to cover two hockey fields, is being used to give shape to the outer surface of the idol. Nearly 50 tonnes of gypsum (plaster of paris) is being plastered on the cloth to shape the idol known as Dwadashaditya Maha Ganapathi. “We decided that this year’s Ganesha idol should be to appease the Sun God as we have had a long summer. The artist, C. Rajendran, came up with the idol that has 12 heads and 24 arms in consultation with priest Vithal Sharma. He had to increase the height to bring symmetry to match the width of 24 foot,” said Singari Raj Kumar, the key organiser of the Ganesh Utsava Committee.

A mock-up painting of the idol shows a large pink Ganesha protected by 12-hooded snake flanked by an avatar of Vishnu on one side and Durga on the other.

The organisers have procured 25 tonnes of steel for creating the inner core of the idol. Last year, the idol was created with 20 tonnes of steel. “The steelworkers and welders have come from Kakinada and they have shaped the core of the idol. Right now, about 80 artisans from Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad are working in multiple shifts to finish the work, which takes about 100 days from inception,” said Mr. Kumar. Artists from Gollapalem near Kakinada would give the finishing touches and the final coat of paint.

For years, the organisers have walked a tightrope over environmental concerns raised by the civic body. While the creation of the Ganesh idol is a work of art, transporting and immersing it in the Hussainsagar Lake is a logistics challenge for the police and the civic officials. “The idol is removed from water after five days. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation officials understand our position. They have not tried to interfere with our work,” said Mr. Kumar.

Incidentally, it is small donations ranging between ₹11 and a few hundreds that form the chunk of money that is mopped up for the celebrations, which is expected to cost about ₹80 lakh, according to the organisers.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 2:01:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/khairatabad-ganesha-idol-to-stand-61-feet-tall-this-year/article28763766.ece

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