Cost of Ganesh idols up by 20-35%

The cost of clay Ganesh idols, which have started arriving in the market with the annual festival of Ganesh Chaturthi just round the corner, has gone up by 20 to 35 per cent.
However, most of these idols on display for sale have already been booked by the devotees.

It is predicted that around 40,000 to 45,000 Ganesh idols of various sizes are worshipped in the state during this festival ranging from one-and-a-half to eleven days.
A visit to shops selling Ganesha idols as well as traditional idol making locations known as ‘Chitrashala’ informed that this year, the readymade Ganesha idols are priced in the range between
`650 and `2,600, while the large-sized, made to order Ganesha idols are priced up to `1.5 lakh.
The ready-made Ganesha idols imported from places like Belgaum, Kolhapur and Penn are made from Shadoo clay, while the locally manufactured ones are made from Chikanmati or clay found in the fields.
 “The clay, which is the main component of Ganesh idols has itself become expensive, besides the rising expenses of the colours, labourers and transportation, which all collectively add up to make Ganesha idols expensive,” a salesman at the shop owned by Mr Natekar, a city-based supplier of Ganesh idols informed.
He also maintained that 80 per cent of the idols in the shop have already been sold and would be taken away by the devotees on the eve of the Ganesha Chaturthi.
Besides Panaji, the Ganesha idols made from ‘shadoo’ clay are for sale in towns like Margao, Ponda, Vasco and Mapusa. These idols are mostly purchased by devotees, who celebrate the festival in urban areas.
On the other hand, the Ganesha idols worshipped by devotees in the villages are purchased from local artisans – sometimes the artisans providing these idols to certain families down the generations – and are also set to be sold at a higher price, this year.
The local artisans busy in making Ganesha idols from ‘chikanmati’ expressed concern over the damp weather, stating that they find it very difficult to dry these idols.
One of the artisans in a city-based ‘chitrashala’ said that it is impossible to provide a Ganesh idol at a cost below `500.
Some of the ‘chitrashalas’, following orders from Sarvajanik Ganeshotsava or community Ganesh festival, have made Ganesh idols sized from one to four feet.  [NT]