Vinayaka Chavithi (as we call it in the southern part of India, Andhra Pradesh) also known as Ganesh Chathurthi.
Idol making was totally new to us even though we have done a small one last year with wheat flour (go green) and spices and called it Spices Vinayaka, but this year we wanted to try with terracotta.
Started making the idol after coming back from work around 6 pm, thinking that we should be done in a couple of hours. Warmed up some water to make the clay soft so that it can be easily molded. Once we got started then we came to know it is not that easy to make a Ganesha idol or any molding art. Initially made a flat base to place the finished idol. Then made a few circular shapes of terracotta balls each to transform them later into legs, stomach, hands, diwan, head, trunk, ears and crown.
First carved legs and put them together over the flat base and, then molded the stomach, small diwan under the left hand. Later molded head on top of stomach, crown, ears and shawl (like a cardigan). Then made all the hands, bracelets and garland. Then placed the trunk, eyes and tusks. Used pepper seeds to create eyes. Finally glued small plastic beads to make it more colorful. The hardest part of carving was the legs and hands while easiest one was making crown. Prepared some laddus, a small coconut and his mooshikam(mouse) vahanam (ride).
By the time we finished molding the idol we noticed the clock ticking 11 PM. It took 5 hours to make our Ganesha before the festival day. He was almost 6 inches tall. The end result – our Ganesha came out so good that our eyes couldn’t believe we actually created him in our Home Sweet Home (HSH).
After 10 days of worship and pooja then came the time when we had to do the visarjan. My ‘god’ it was so hard for us to send him away, but we had to let go since we are very excited for the next year to carve a new one all over again.
our Ganesha with the rest of the idols on the day of visarjan
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