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Saturday, September 03, 2016

Rao Brothers of Mangaluru- 4 generation of Ganapathi idol makers

Thanks to Kudpi Raj, I got to meet the Rao family in Mangaluru. 4 generations of this family are into idol making and are popular because of that. Ramachandra Rao, his father Mohan Rao, brothers Prabhakar Rao and Sudhakar Rao have been in this line of divine duty for close to 90 years now, the count of number of Ganesha idols they make increasing every year, including several international shipments. During my recent visit to hometown, I stopped by to meet Mr Kudpi Raj, who is popular for his food blog- Kudpi Raj's Garam Tawa. It was great meeting him for the first time. He maintains a very active life and suggested me a visit to the Rao family. He was kind to take me there and we spent some good time in company of 204 Ganeshas (and their makers)

204 idols of different sizes were being made for the 2016 Ganesha Chaturthi

I asked them about the eco friendly Ganeshas- what makes them different. I was told the following
Clay is used instead of plaster-of-Paris and lead free paint, which is 4 times more expensive is used for painting.



Try to notice Ganesha's vehicle in above photo

Their eyes were all painted white. I asked about the black dot- I was told that will be put on as final touch up just before delivery

Family’s primary business seems to be running a printing press. But during festival season they are into idol making. With festival just a week away, most idols were in their final stages. Would have been interesting to see the entire lifecycle-from clay selection to preparation to final delivery. Good material for BBC/NatGeo to make some documentary. Each one is hand shaped and personally inspected for perfection.
Above Photo by Kudpi Raj
It was an hour well spent.

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5 comments :

rupam sarma said...

Thanks for sharing :)

indu chhibber said...

Works of art--so many go unappreciated

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Yes Indu.

@Rupam- Thanks

divsi said...

Wonderful! Eco Ganesha is the need of the hour:) thanks for sharing shrini. Wish they get documented by a travel mag!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Divsi- yes, mainstream media has covered them already few years ago