Vinayaka Chaviti is on September 17 and the race is heating up for the tallest idol in both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The iconic Khairathabad Ganesh idol in Hyderabad is getting competition from the 63-ft tall Thandava Ganesh to be installed at Ghantasala Music College Grounds in the city.
The Doondi Ganesh Seva Samiti is installing the tallest idol in the city for the first time and is likely to talk with the Tapeswaram Laddu makers in East Godavari district to prepare 100 kg laddu. Khairathabad Ganesh Utsav Samithi is installing 59-feet idol this year. Last year, an 85-feet tall idol was installed at Gajuawaka in Visakhapatnam district.
Special pujas were conducted at the Ghantasala College by Excise Minister Kollu Ravindra and others for installation of the idol and the works are likely to commence in a couple of days.
Interestingly, the Coimbatore-based T. Rajendran artisans group, which is preparing the Khairathabad Ganesh idol is also setting up the idol for Doondi Ganesh Seva Samiti in Vijayawada.
More than 50 artisans will be working in preparing the clay idol, which would weigh about 60 tonnes. It would take about 65 days for preparing the idol and organisers are getting 40 tonnes of Bombay clay and would be using minimal quantity of Plaster of Paris for giving a 2 mm coat to the idol to get an aesthetic finish. Unlike the regular idols, which would be immersed in River Krishna, this idol would not be immersed in the water and only water would be poured over the idol to complete the immersion ceremony. The objective was to promote eco-friendly measures among the people, especially the present generation youth organisations, which are crazy for POP idols, said G. Phani Raju, vice-president of Doondi Ganesh Seva Samiti.
“After bifurcation, we wanted the State to have some significance during Ganesh festivities. Hence, the samiti was formed to establish an idol and it costs about Rs. 60 lakh for preparing the idol. We are collecting donations from philanthropists and others,” said Mr. Phani Raju.
The 63-ft Thandava Ganesh idol would be accompanied with a similar height Sivalingam idol and four Lakshmi Devi (Ashtalakshmi) idols on either side. “Initially, we had approached the District Collector Babu A. seeking permission for installing the idol at PWD Grounds but the Collector denied citing security reasons in view of the Chief Minister’s Camp Office being in the vicinity,” said Mr. Phani Raju.
Meanwhile, the Khairathabad Ganesh idol works have already commenced and the organisers are installing a Trishakthi Moksha Ganapati idol standing at 59-feet tall. “Though, there is a provision for increasing the height due to technical reasons we are not increasing the height. More so, it has to be immersed in Hussain Sagar and it is a big task. It is costing us Rs. 50 lakh,” said S. Sudershan, member of Khairathabad Ganesh Utsav Samithi.
“We will be speaking to Tapeswaram Laddu makers in a couple of days for preparing a 5,700 kg laddu this year as well,” said Mr. Sudershan.