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Gallery of gods

Whether it is a naughty Ganesha or a serene Lakshmi, Chandni has a deity for everyone. There are gods, goddesses, saints made of bronze, sandalwood, brass, terracotta, crystal, and stone to suit all devotees.



Difficult choices: Chandni's irresistible range — Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash

IF YOU have always wondered about where to get the right idol for your little temple at home, then you should head towards Chandni, the Divine Gallery. For this is one store that offers a mind-boggling collection of statues of deities in several material.

At Chandni, you can find a range of Indian deities such as Krishna, Saraswati, Lakshmi, and saints such as Guru Nanak, Sai Baba, and so on.

But, the one deity that clearly reigns supreme is Ganesha. Sultan Thariani, who owns the store says: "Ganesha forms 70 per cent of my business. He is one God whose form you can play with and it is appreciated."

And the store also offers a vast collection of this elephant-headed deity in all forms, materials, colours, and styles. The Hoysala bronze idols (priced between Rs. 400 and Rs. 30,000), specially made by Mr. Thariani's artisans, catch your eye. "Hoysala bronze is easy to maintain as it does not tarnish," explains the man who also designs most of his idols.

Having researched through the shastras on the forms of this deity, he prides himself on his unique and non-traditional designs that have become popular.

Though the figurines in other material are procured from various parts of India, Mr. Thariani selects the designs and his artists.

This interest has resulted in some really beautiful pieces crafted in silver Meenakari work (Rs. 300 to Rs. 3,000), marble Ganeshas (Rs. 5,000 upwards), and an image carved on green soft stone from Orissa (Rs. 9,000).

There are also Ganeshas in material such as silver painted bronze, sandalwood, brass, terracotta, synthetic, semiprecious stones, crystal, stones, and so on along with the paintings of this deity on paper silk, cotton, canvas, marble, and gemstone.

Chandni has some gemstone paintings of Drishti Ganesha said to be effective in nullifying the wrong vaastu effects.

There are also traditional forms of the deity in neem wood from Tamil Nadu (Rs. 1,900) and plaster of Paris figurines.

The collection of Ganeshas in semi-precious stones such as crystal, rose quartz, lapis lazuli, amethyst, jade, tiger's eye, gold stone, serpentine stone, and others, is impressive.

Whether you pick up a figurine off the shelf or order one to specifications, the icing on the cake is the little "lucky" Ganesha that Mr. Thariani gives his customers as they leave the store.

This practice, he says, has proved lucky for him and his clients.

Chandni can be contacted on 5594149/5580210.

T. G.

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