Ganesh Chaturthi is a festival which celebrates the birth of the elephant-headed God, Ganesh. It is celebrated with a lot of extravaganza and hullaballoo throughout India and the pompous celebration at Mumbai is especially noteworthy. Due to different customs, traditions and rules, Ganesh idols for Ganesh Chaturthi in different regions of India are made from various kinds of materials like clay, Plaster of Paris, papier mache, turmeric, etc.The Different Kinds Of Materials Used To Make Idols:
Earlier, unbaked clay or Shadu was used to make Ganesh idols for Ganesh Chaturthi. Shadu is a type of natural clay, which is found in the Konkan region of Maharashtra. With the rise of commercialization, Plaster of Paris idols began reining the market. Plaster of Paris idols being cheaper and easy to handle were preferred. With the passage of time and rise in water pollution due to the harmful Plaster of Paris idols, the use of bio degradable products like clay, paper pulp, coconuts, turmeric along with stone, brass and various metal is on the rise for crafting statues of Lord Ganesh. The concept of edible Ganesh is making waves. In the recent years, grains and sago have been used to make idols. Chocolate, raw vegetables, turmeric, gems, water melon and wheat flour are the other products employed to make statues of the Lord.
According to some myths, by worshipping Ganesh idols for Ganesh Chaturthi made from certain specific materials, devotees can be blessed with specific boons.
Over the years, various materials have been employed to make Ganesh idols for Ganesh Chaturthi, starting from Shadu to Plaster of Paris. Unbaked clay idols have always proved to be the best, being eco-friendly and not contributing to water pollution. With the awareness of the deleterious effects of Plaster of Paris, many states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat are going green and creating eco-friendly Ganesh idols.