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Exquisite Vinayakas

"Ganesh Darshan" brings some exquisite Vinayaka idols of all shapes and sizes in time for the Chathurthi fete.



In various poses Pics: S.Siva Saravanan.

IT MIGHT not be an unfamiliar sight for those who have seen giant images of Lord Vinayaka during the Chathurthi processions. Yet, the six-foot high Vinayaka idol placed near the entrance of Poompuhar, the showroom of the Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation, does not fail to impress the ordinary visitor.

Made of a single log of rosewood, this idol from Thrissur is one of the attractions at the ongoing "Ganesh Darshan", an exhibition of Vinayaka idols organised by Poompuhar. If you intend purchasing it, think again, for it costs a whopping Rs. 6.65 lakh. "We have displayed it for the sheer craftsmanship involved in making the idol. It took 36 months to complete the piece," explains P Mohamed Ali, Manager of Poompuhar.


The idol has eight poses of Vinayaka at the bottom of the panel. And the artistic carvings on the sides only add to its beauty. Images of Vinayaka are found in almost every place in the showroom. Papier-mâché and clay idols occupy considerable space.

"These idols are very much in demand as people buy them for immersion during Chathurthi," he states. There are Vinayakas of all shapes and in all moods, postures and sizes. From the inch-long glass Vinayaka, miniature brass and bronze statues to the bigger ones made of rosewood and white cedar wood, the variety is limitless. One can also get Panchaloha idols, those made of Plaster of Paris, sandalwood, marble dust and black metal.

At a glance one would mistake the clay idols for brass statues. Only a closer look will make you realise that they have been given that appearance with a coat of paint. The bronze and brass statues are the other attractions. On one particular shelf, the many manifestations of Vinayaka delight the eye. Heramba Vinayaka, Karpaga Vinayaka and other Vinayaka idols are placed here. The shelf is half-empty, as some of the idols have been already sold.


There are also images of the God playing the veena, mridangam and other musical instruments in brass and bronze. Panel-type wood carvings with small images of Vinayaka along with the dwarapalakas is yet another attraction. Then, there are the Tanjore paintings with the Lord as the subject. For those looking for Vinayakas for the pooja room, the small yet simple soft stone idols from Tiruvannamalai could be the ideal choice.

Lamps with Vinayaka images, wall hangers and package wood with line sketches are also available. "Every year, new idols with different postures idols keep coming. So, those looking to add to their collection of Vinayaka idols come in as this is the only time where they get to see variety," Mr. Ali says. The exhibition is open till September 31.

M. ALLIRAJAN

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