Tamil Nadu: Eco-friendly idols of Lord Ganesha being prepared ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi

Tamil Nadu: Eco-friendly idols of Lord Ganesha being prepared ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi
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Madurai, Tamil Nadu: As the city gears up for the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, eco-friendly idols of Lord Ganesha are being prepared in Tamil Nadu’s Madurai district.

Hundreds of artisans reside in Vilachery village, near Tiruparangunram in Madurai, where the idols are being prepared using clay and elephant dung.

However, heavy rainfall in the district has led to difficulties for the artisans.

Vijay Kumar, an idol artisan told ANI, “We traditionally make Ganesha idols out of clay. This year we have received very few orders. Now that the rainy season has started, the tile-making industry has stagnated a little which has affected us.”

Another artisan said, “We have been in the Ganesha idol-making business for 34 years. We prepare Ganesha idols naturally using clay and elephant dung. These idols do not cause any harm to the environment. But now it is very difficult to make an idol if there is no soil available."

The Ganesh Chaturthi festival, which falls in the Bhadrapada month of the Hindu calendar, marks the birthday of Lord Ganesha, son of Shiva and Parvati.

Also known as Vinayak Chaturthi or Ganeshotsav, the festival is marked with the installation of Ganesha's clay idols privately in homes and publicly on elaborate pandals (temporary stage).

The 10-day festival ends when the idol is carried in a public procession with music and group chanting, then immersed in a nearby body of water such as a river or sea, called visarjan on the day of Anant Chaturdashi.

The festival celebrates Ganesha as the God of New Beginnings and the Remover of Obstacles as well as the god of wisdom and intelligence. This year the Ganesh Chaturthi festival will begin on September 19 and will continue for ten days until September 29.