Tallest Ganesha from Kurnool?

65-foot idol, made of mud and clay, would be the crown jewel of this year’s festival

Kurnool is known for its vibrant Vinayaka Chavithi celebrations, but this time the crown jewel of the festivities will be a towering 65-foot-tall idol set up in Old Town which is said to be one of the tallest idols in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, if not the tallest.

What sets the Kurnool Ganesha apart from the Khairatabad idol is that the latter is made of Plaster of Paris (PoP) and other environmentally-harmful materials, but the Kurnool Ganesha is made of sticks, mud, hay and clay. A sculptor who worked on the idol said the paints that they used are also environmentally-friendly.

The sculptors, a team of about 12 people from West Bengal, explained the construction process.

"For structural support, we used bamboo sticks, which are tied together using ropes. We then use red and black soil along with hay to build the insides of the idol. Later, a coating of special clay, imported from Kolkata, is used for the outermost layer," said Shakti Das, chief sculptor. Mr. Das has been making idols for the past 25 years.

The sculptors have been working on the idol for over two months and the bill is expected to be around ₹15 lakh.

Police on alert

With the dates of Moharram coinciding with Vinayaka Chavithi, police have taken precautionary measures to avoid any untoward incident.

Superintendent of Police Fakeerappa Kaginelli said that police have been conducting peace committee meetings with members of the Hindu and Muslim communities. "We have identified 20-25 villages as critical areas, and have increased police force there," Mr. Kaginelli said.

Huge numbers

In 2018, Kurnool Police accorded permission to 4,856 idols in the district, with the number expected to rise this year. To handle the applications, the State Government has begun giving permissions through a website

Once permitted, a QR code would be forwarded to the applicant who would then need to take a printout and paste it near the idol so that police can know which idols have been accorded permission. "A central database would also be available to see how many idols have been set up in the State," said Mr. Kaginelli.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 12:05:14 AM |

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