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Oct 2

Written by: Jayanthi
Friday, October 02, 2009

Inspirational Ganapathi Idols by Roopashri and her Friends
by Jennifer Kumar and Roopashri

Just before Ganesh Chathurthi this year, I became inspired to find a new way of forming the likeness of Ganesh for Ganesh Chathurthi this year. In my net search for images on Ganesh idol making and displaying, I found the blog of Roopa Shri and was immediately inspired and excited for one of my favorite days of the year, Ganesh Chathurthi.

As Roopashri’s blog is in Kannada, with her permission, I am reprinting some photos here along with short details of each one.

Ganesh Rangoli 2008

ganesha rangoli 2008 (14)
Photo Credit; Roopashri


Anything made to look simple and elegant as this Ganesh rangoli does impresses me. I am a type that seems to complicate the simplest of tasks. Roopa said that she drew this for the festival in 2008 on a wooden notice board (pin up board) using rice flour (white), turmeric (yellow) and kumkum or sindhur (red). After the pooja, she put all this into the same water in which she immersed her idol.


Handmade Ganesh Idols

Turmeric Ganesh
Photo credit: Archana

This cute and bright colored Ganesh idol is made of turmeric and water! I am inspired by this idol as it would be easy to create from one piece of clay or which ever materials are used.


Photo Credit: Krati 

This head of Ganesh, which appears just to be a head of an elephant with a nice headpiece of riches , inspires me as the few embellishments to this simple creation make it all the more memorable and impressive. Roopashri says that this raw, creative artpiece was made of unbaked wheat flour and water, eyes are of rye seeds and the white modak in the Ganesha's trunk is a sweet ball called chironji.


Photo Credit: $ree Vidya

As with the two Ganapathi’s so far featured in this piece, this one also intrigued me by it’s simple, seemless elegance. This is the way Ganapathi should be made in my opinion. This murthi (idol), again is made of wheat flour and water. His eyes are black peppercorns. I also especially liked the added decoration of coins found in this murthi and the previous also.

ganesh festival 2007 (2)
Photo credit: Roopashri

Again, as with the other Ganapathi idols featured on the blog, this Ganesh idol drew me in for it’s simplicity, but the shape and majesty of this particular idol drew me in even more. Unlike the previous ones in this post that to me gave impressions of a younger spirited, almost child-like Ganesh, this murthi had given me the feeling of a Ganesh with an old soul who sits above with much wisdom, care, oversight and love. This is the feeling I had in seeing this murthi that Roopashri said was made by the joint efforts from her and her husband Hemanth out of air dry clay they bought from Michael’s. This was their first try at making an idol which they made in 2007. They made this idol a week before the festival, while waiting for it to dry completely until a day before the festival to paint on the eyes, tusks, decorations etc. They used kumkum mixed in water for red, a white stick from Tirupathi (Andhra Pradesh) mixed with water for the tusks and other white décor, while using regular finger paint for all black eyes and the mooshika (the rat). 

Inspired by their first try, Roopa and Hemanth have been continuing to make idols for the past two years.  These are the photos from their 2008 and 2009 celebration.


Glorious Ganapathi Golus

Photo credit: Jayarathna (Roopa’s mother)

This display of decorations welcomes Ganesh into Roopashri’s mother’s home. I actually thought this was a Navarathri Golu, but was happy to learn it was not a Navarathri Golu, but what I like to call a ‘Ganapathi Golu’. The steps and décor within this scene display many varieties of Ganesh idols and statues which Roopa has been collecting over the past 8 years. She has over 200 idols in her collection, which includes idols made of clay, brass, silver, jade, paper, stone, plastic etc. You can also see a beautiful Ganesha painting done by Roopa herself.

Browse even more photos of Roopashri's Ganesh celebrations over the past few years.

Click here to see slide show in another window.


It is only these Ganesh idols in this post and this ‘Ganapathi Golu’ of Roopashri that inspired my new Ganesh décor this year as GanesGanesh Chathurthi 2009h entered our home, as pictured t the right (photo credit: Krishna Kumar). 


I really appreciate Roopa Shri and her display of photos of the celebrations. These photos and her interaction with me before the festival online helped me even more create the décor for the festival in our home this year. Thank you, Roopa Shri.


This post is a one in the series of Inspirational Blogger Interviews


When is... Ganesh Chathurthi?
Mark your calendars!
Thursday 1 September 2011
Saturday 11 September 2010
Wednesday 19 September 2012
Monday 9 September 2013
Friday 29 August 2014
Thursday 17 September 2015

Want to know when is Ganesh Chathurthi in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and beyond? Follow my India America Interfaith and Social Calendar!


Related Posts/Links:

Do you want to be a part of this interview series? Join my Authentic Journeys Facebook Fan Page and be featured! :)


Would you like to participate in the cross-cultural interviews here on Alaivani!? We'd be honored to showcase your life story here!
More information on this post, "Teach Us About Your Culture".

See an archived list of cross-cultural interviews here.


Roopa Shri’s Blog

Add your Ganesh Celebration photos to my flickr group - Ganesh Chathurthi Happy Birthday, Lord Ganesh.

Add your photos of Indian culture in America to my flickr group - Expression of India's culture in America.

About Ganesh Chathurthi:
Ganesh Chathurthi is a holiday dedicated to the elephant-headed god, Ganesh among Hindus. The most popular way of celebrating is making effigies of Ganesh out of clay, decorating it, and immersing it in a water body after the festival is over. This symbolizes what we take from the earth we should give back, without hurting the earth. Read more about Ganesh Chathurthi on my site: 

A Promise to Lord Ganesh: One American’s Journey to Celebrating Ganesh Chathurthi in America

Lessons From Ganesha Chathurthi

Lord Ganesh Freed India From the British?

Ganesh Chathurthi in Mauritius

Thank you for reading and participating on Alaivani.com!

Updated September 2011

Copyright ©2009 Jennifer Jayanthi Kumar


1 comments so far...

Re: Inspirational Ganapathi Idols by Roopashri and her Friends

What an inspirational display!

By admin on   Thursday, November 12, 2009

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