Diamond-studded Ganesha idols have become the star attraction in the ongoing 10-day Ganesha Chaturthi festivities in Gujarat. Devotees are coming in large numbers to pay respects to the "diamond Ganesha" at a pandal (temporary stage)in Surat's Dalia Sheri, the diamond hub of the city.
The pandal, which is themed around "golden temple and the movie Baahubali" has two Ganesha idols. The smaller Ganesha idol is made of silver and is studded with 1.5 lakh diamonds. The organiser Gaurav Jariwala says that a devotee donated it to the pandal.
"A devotee whose prayers got answered by Lord Ganesha donated the diamond Ganesha to the pandal. Another devotee donated a silver mooshak (mouse), considered Lord Ganesha's vaahan (vehicle) after his wish got fulfilled," said Mr Jariwala.
He added that over 4-5 lakh people visit the pandal every year during the 10 days of Ganesha Chaturthi and devotees whose wishes get fulfilled donate silver items. "If devotees wish for a home and their wish get fulfilled, they donate a silver-plated home to the pandal, if their wish for a child gets fulfilled, they donate a silver toy," the organiser added.
Along with a small Ganesha idol, a majestic idol of Ganesha is another crowd puller at the pandal. The feet, ears and hands of this idol are made of silver and gold and are studded with diamonds. The idol's jewellery is also made up of diamonds.
Mr Jariwala said that the bigger idol is studded with special red diamonds, a donation from a devotee in Australia. "Around 80,000 Australian and American diamonds are studded on this Ganesha idol and 10-15 kilograms of gold and silver mixture is used to make the plating for feet, ear and hands," he said.
To maintain the security of the pandal, CCTV cameras have been placed to record all the activities. Guards are also stationed to keep a track of all the happenings.
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