From six to 18-foot tall idols of Lord Ganesha can be seen at major puja pandals in the city during the ten-day festival. Some of the idols have been installed on silver throne and a few others on Suryarath (Sun Chariot), moon and the universe. Besides the size of the idols, its ornamentation (Shringar) will be a major attraction. At several pandals, the ornaments will be changed daily while at some places in alternate day with fruits and flowers.
One of the members of Dolgyaras Samaroh Samiti, Peepal Chowk, Anukul Simhal told Free Press, “We have been installing the clay idol of lord Ganesha ‘Bhopal Ke Raja’ since 1947 along with Riddhi-Siddhi and Shubh-Labh. The size and pattern of the idol are same from the beginning. The size of the lord is 6ft and it is installed at sliver throne and ornaments, made of silver are used.”
Simhal further said, “Besides, we have been organising ‘Holi Mahotsav’ and ‘Phal Mahotsav’ for past two years which is its major attraction in the 10-day festival. In ‘Holi Mahotsav,’ we do ornamentation of lord Ganesha with flowers and played with ‘Gulal’ on the second-day while we do ornamentation of the lord with fruits in Phal Mahotsav’ on ninth-day. We also organise Chhapan Bhog and Annakut Hawan on its Ashtami and Dashmi. We take out procession on 11th day.”
Similarly, member of New Market Vyapari Ganesh Utsav Samiti said, “ We have been installing Ganesh idol for 23 years and its pattern is changed every year. This year, we have installed 16X17ft, the lord’s idol in Sun Chariot and ornamented with red and blue pearls, heavy jewels and American diamond. We will also do his ornamentation daily with followers. We have also installed an idol of Tripati Balaji here. ”
“Before the idol, Pandal, based on the Surya Temple of Gwallior will be one of the major attractions of the fest. Its height and width are 50ftX65ft while its depth is 65ft.We also decorated it with colourful lightings. We have installed six CCTV cameras and deployed seven guards for security. We have also maintained cleanliness keeping dustbins. Our total expenditure is approx 8 lakh while the cost of lord Ganesha is approx Rs1.5 lakh,” Kumar added. He said that a community feast will be organised on 10th day of the fest in which around 5,000 people visited last year.
President of Shri Ganesh Utsav Samiti, Retghat, Kamla Park, Bhopal, Mahendra Sahu said, “We are completing 50 years. Like every year, tableau is one of the major attractions with clay idol of Lord Ganesha this year. In the tableau, the artists have created universe and Lord Ganesha is installed on moon. Besides, 18 ft clay idol of lord Ganesha is also installed. Our total expenditure is Rs 4.5lakh.” “This year, we have installed 18ftX20ft clay idol of lord Ganesha along with the idol of Riddhi-Siddhi the cost of which is Rs 1.10 lakh. We have been organising Ganesh Utsav for last three years and every year the size of idol increased,” said advisor of Shri Ganesh Utsav samiti, Vijay Market, Barkheda.
He further said, “Besides, ornamentation of the lord will be one of the major attractions. It will be changed every day with flower, balloons, thermacol and lightings by artists. We have 30 boys in our teams and all work in the shops of the Market. They are so passionate that they take leave alternate days from their shop for the event.” Moreover, devotees can visit these Pandals 10 am to 1pm in the morning while 6pm to 1am at night.