Society for the Confluence of Festivals in India SCFI
Celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi on 25th August 2017

Ganesh Idols for Ganesh Chaturthi

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.

Different Kinds of Ganesh Idols All Over India
  • Marcela: It is a small town situated in the Ponda Taluk district of North Goa. Here, exclusive idols of Lord Ganesh are made. The concept of using eco-friendly materials was pioneered by Namdev Tari from Sai Kala Mandal. They make idols of coconut, durva, spices, raw corn, raw turmeric roots, flowers, betel nuts, shells, bamboo, black clay etc. They even employ things like musical instruments, sky lamps, wax, cotton, rubbles, ropes and newspapers to create idols.
  • Mumbai: In this state of India, Ganesh Chaturthi festival is celebrated with a lot of fanfaronade. Shadu idols were first made in the state of Maharashtra. Shadu is natural clay found in the Konkan region of Maharashtra. These idols were pioneered in Maharashtra. With the banning of Plaster of Paris idols in Maharashtra in 2011, organic products are nowadays used in Mumbai and other places in Maharashtra to create Ganesh idols.
  • Hyderabad: With the spread of awareness about the damaging effects of Plaster Of Paris idols in Hyderabad, the sale of Plaster Of Paris idols have gone down and beautifully adorned clay idols of Ganesh are in vogue presently. Hyderabad is going green and encouraging only the use of bio degradable materials for the creation of Lord Ganesh’s idols. Along with Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat are supporting the creation and use of eco-friendly idols of Lord Ganpati.
Myths about Ganesh Idols

According to some myths, by worshipping Ganesh idols for Ganesh Chaturthi made from certain specific materials, devotees can be blessed with specific boons.

  • A silver Ganesh idol bestows long lives to devotees.
  • A green jade (marakata) Ganesh grants spiritual knowledge, wisdom and moksha (salvation).
  • A jade Ganesh assists in clearing financial debts.
  • A crystal (sphatika) Ganesh fosters and enhances marital bliss and bestows harmony between husband and wife.

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.

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