Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): About 75,000 eco-friendly idols of Lord Ganesha are ready for installation in pandals in the city and in neighbouring towns and villages for 10-day Ganeshotsava, which will begin on September 19. Most Ganesha idols are similar to those made in Mumbai like Lalbagh ke Raja, Dagadu Sheth Halwaiwale.
About 500 idol makers in the city have been working for past six months to give shape to idols. Though idols’ prices are almost same as last year, orders have gone up by 10%.
Ajay Prajapati, who has been making idols for past 35 years in Itwara, said they began work around Holi. “Rainy season is a disruptor and so we have to begin our work in March-April when weather is dry and hot,” he added.
He said 90% of his customers make bookings a year in advance. “Government guidelines on the height of the idols come late, which is problematic,” he said, adding, “I have orders for 150 idols. Barring finishing touches, all are ready.”
Another idol maker Devendra Prajapati said he received 30 orders mainly from Ganeshotsava Samitis in Old City, Indrapuri and Bittan Market. He began work in March.
Most idols are eco-friendly, made of clay and straw. Local clay is used to build basic structure. Clay from Kolkata and Kanpur is used for finishing work. According to Devendra, the height of the idols made by him ranges from 5 to 10 feet, including pedestal. “If you talk only of idol, it is six-feet high,” he says.
Kanta Prasad from Piplani too began work in April. “It takes almost a month to complete one idol,” he says. In some idols, Lord Ganesh is shown standing whereas in others he is seated on a throne. Rahul Kushwaha says he made about 30 idols of 4 feet to 12 feet high.