Category Archives: Ganesh Festival in Mangalore
Artsites who make Lord Ganesha idols are usually men but the idols made by the Ponarkar family in Hubli get an elegant feminine touch. It is the women of the family who have been making Ganesha idols for the past several years and what distinguishes them from others is that they make eco-friendly earthen idols as against the regular POP ones.
There are more than 10 households belonging to the Ponarkar family in the city. Women of these families are adept at preparing idols of the Elephant God using clay and natural colours.
Women of Ponarkar family begin the auspicious work of making Ganesha idols soon after Ugadi. They get clay from Heggeri, Keshwapur and Gopankoppa for Rs 2,800-3,000 per kg. Each family will make about 300 idols, to be finished in about six months. Men of the family too extend a helping hand to women in the process.
Speaking to TOI, Priya Narayan Ponarkar of Hosur, said, “I have been making Ganesha idols for the past 15 years. Preparing idols out of clay is a laborious task when compared to POP idols. Every day we get on to idol making after completing the household chores. We spend nearly 6 to 8 hours per day in making idols. I make one or two idols in a day.” Priya’s household has prepared 200 idols this year and most of them have already been sold for Ganesh Chaturthi on Wednesday.
Nanda Ponarkar, who is involved in idol making for the past 20 years said she learnt the art from the elders in the family. With the help of her family members she has made 400 idols this season.
Diwali celebrations usually know no religious boundaries as people of all communities join in bursting crackers and enjoying the sweets that accompany them.
Like the rest of the villagers, the Muslims too install a Ganesha idol after holding a grand procession and distribute free meals among villagers by collecting funds from the community.
The Muslims, who constitute 40 per cent of the population of over 3,000 in the village, build a pandal for installing the idol of Lord Ganesha, hold cultural programmes every night and recite a few lines from the Quran near the idol after the pooja.
On the fifth day, prayers are offered in the Islamic way for about two hours while the idol is immersed.
The Hindus offer them any help they may need to organise the celebration. In fact youth from both communities have formed a joint forum to celebrate Ganesha.
Returning the gesture, the Hindus also fast during Ramzan and are members of the local Muslim organisation.
The Muslims, for their part, readily work as office bearers of the local Hindu temple trust.
“We have been celebrating all festivals in our village to teach a lesson to those stoking communal hatred and have never witnessed any communal violence here.
We have always lived in harmony, celebrating both Ganesh Chathurthi and Ramzan together,” said a Muslim youth from the village, Chamansab Buketgar, who first began the tradition of celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi among Muslims by installing a Ganesha idol in his home.
The celebration at the time was confined to his family, but soon other Muslims from the village joined in and today they look forward to the festival as much as their Hindu friends.
Brothers Prabhakar Rao, Ramachandra Rao and Sudhakar Rao, took over the tradition from their late father Mohan Rao and make Ganesha idols without using moulds, oil paints, plaster of Paris or any other chemical substances .
Raos start accepting the orders from the auspicious day of Chitra Nakshatra, the birth star of Lord Ganesha, which comes about two months before the Ganesh Chaturthi. The work commences as and when devotees bring peeta (wooden seat) for the idol. The clay with which idols are made is brought from Sujirkars Tile Factory. “We use straw and clay to make idols and instead of oil paints, we use lead-free colours that do not contaminate water. The size of Ganseha idol varies between one foot and 12 feet,” said Prabhakar Rao. The family makes the idols at their home, Sri Ganesh.
The family does not charge their customers. However, they accept a Dakshine that the customers give them with ‘phala-thamboola’ (coconut -beetle nut leaves). “For us it is not a business. We are just continuing the tradition handed over to us by our father. All of us have our own business. We do not fix a price for Ganesha idols. We accept whatever devotees give us, happily,” says Ramachandra Rao.
This year the family has received 194 orders including one each from the UK and the US.
Mulky Panduranga Sharma, a member of Santhana Dharma Kendra Association, San Jose, California has been taking Ganesh idols made by the Raos to the US for the past 18 years. The association celebrates the festival for five days and nearly 500 devotees attend it.
For Dr Srisha Shenoy, Ganesh Chaturthi is not complete without the idols made at Sri Ganesh.
He keeps the idols at Wrexham Memorial Hall in UK during Ganesh Chaturthi.
Mangalore, Sep 1: Colourful celebrations marked Ganesh Chaturthi festivities at Bunts Hostel here on Thursday September 1, jointly organised by Sri Siddi Vinayaka Prathishtana and Sarvajanika Sri Ganeshotsava Samithi. Harvest festival was also celebrated on the occasion.
Members of the Bunt community under the banner of Sarvajanika Sri Ganeshotsava Samithi have been observing the festival over the last seven years.
Addressing the gathering, Brigadier I N Rai (retd) said that Ganesh Chathurthi is celebrated by everybody, cutting across the boundaries of religion, caste and creed. Though it is a religious occasion, it unites people of all all walks of life and helps in sustaining brotherhood among people in the society, he said.
Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak began the public celebration of Chaturthi during the time of freedom struggle in order to unite the citizens, he said.
Ln Dr Ramdas Rai hailed the efforts of the organization in bringing people together to celebrate the festival.
Subashchandra Bhandari, Ahalya S Bhandari, Vinaya R Rai, Anuradha Rai and office-bearers of the organizing committee among others were present.
Mangalore, Sep 14: Sarvajanika Ganeshotsava Samiti of Kulshekhar organized its 41st annual Ganapati Utsav on a grand scale at Bikkarnakatta Kulshekhar in the city. Distinguished religious leaders and dignitaries participated in various programmes organized on the occasion, while attractive cultural programmes provided feast to the eyes and minds of the people from surrounding areas.
The idol of Lord Ganesha was taken in an immersion procession, through the decorated streets of the city on the evening of Monday September 13. Huli Veshas, attractive tableaux and a large crowd provided a grand accompaniment to the Lord’s idol. The festivities connected with the Utsav ended with the immersion of the idol at around 7.30 pm on Monday.
With only 10 days to go for Vinayaka Chaturthi the Ganapathy idols are getting ready everywhere in the city. Two main points are in Car street and Mannagudda. Unlike Bangalore and Mysore, Mangalore does not have moulded Ganapathy idols, everything is handcrafted and families take up the task of making the idols.
According to Mr. Prabhakar Rao at Mannagudda, the demand for idols were increasing every year and this year he had an order for over 20 large Ganapathi idols for sarvajanika Ganapathy functions, while another 100 smaller Ganapathis have been ordered. All of them will have to be ready by 10th September in time for consecration.
At Car street Mr. Shenoy has a full establishment of Ganapathy making. He and his cousins take up construction of idols. “It takes not less than two days to construct one large idol fit for consecration. The painting takes not less than 5-6 hours per idol. But the problem has been getting the clay, nowadays the clay came at premium. All old suppliers have discontinued prospecting for clay and the existing suppliers are finding it difficult to find new clay deposits. The clay was also ever getting costlier” he added.
Mr. Rao whose family was into the third generation of Ganapathy builders however appear to be comfortable with the raw materials. There was always a problem with the clay but somehow we are getting the required raw material. “Over the years considering the environmental pollution we have also switched over to organic paints which has been appreciated by the district administration,” he said..
The cost of the Ganapthy idols have gone up considerably since last year. A large sarvajanika Ganapathy idol in sitting posture for 6 feet has gone upto Rs. 15,000 while the smaller ones command rates according to their size and composure. But clients do not worry about the cost.
In Mangalore alone there are over 100 Sarvajanika Ganapathis all over the city and neighbouring towns like Buntwal, Moodbidri, Surathkal and Ullal. Many people of Kasargod also take Ganapathies from Mangalore.