Phool Chand Chaaran, who hails from Rajasthan is currently running a temporary idol-making workshop on the Zirakpur-Ambala road near Shri Ganga Nursery. He has been camping in Tricity with his team of original Ganesha idol makers & artisans for the last four months, in view of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival.
This year due to lesser COVID 19 restrictions he is upbeat about demand for Ganesha idols as compared to last year. “Last year in view of the COVID wave and persistent lockdowns we suffered a lot but we are thankful that things are looking better this year and there is a nearly 30 per cent increase in demand for Ganesha idols vis a vis last year.” Said Chaaran.
This year the idol makers are coming up with eco-friendly, earthen Ganesha idols for the ‘Ganesh Chaturthi festival’ which is to be celebrated on September 10. Earlier Ganpati idols were being made with non-biodegradable Plaster of Paris which created environmental problems during ‘visarjan’.
Phool Chand further said, “We are making only earthen Ganpati idols with pure clay. The clay has been specially brought from Ganga’s river banks in Haridwar. This clay has a property of ‘easy dissolution’ when immersed in water and there are sacred considerations too. The idol dissolves within a few hours and later the clay can be used in kitchen gardens and even in flower pots.”
The earthen Ganeshas’ trend started due to the COVID-19 restrictions, which do not allow people to gather at a particular immersion site to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. With these idols, devotees can perform the immersion ceremony of Ganpati easily in the safety of their homes. The idols can be easily immersed at home in a small water tub too and also in water bodies and flowing river streams.
Ganesh Utsav celebrations have already begun and will culminate with the observation of Ganesh Chaturthi on Sep 10.
This season Phool Chand and his team of 10 artists have created over 1500 idols of Ganesha of heights 1 foot, 2 feet & 3.5 feet. The beautiful idols showcase intricate workmanship and are competitively priced in the range of Rs. 200-Rs. 2500.