The Khairatabad Ganesha, one of the most popular and well known Ganesh idols not just in the state, but the entire country, has completed its diamond jubilee. It all began in in 1954, when local resident and freedom fighter late S Sankarayya founded the Sri Ganesh Utsav Committee in Khairatabad. The Committee has been overseeing the efforts to make idols every year. In 1954, the idol was just one foot high and has been increasing in height ever since.
The most popular Ganesh idol in the country completes sixty years; the 60-ft idol this year is drawing huge crowds
This year, to mark the 60th anniversary, the idol would be 60 feet high. Since the year 2000, the puja and celebrations have been conducted on a grand scale. Many idols to represent the various forms and avatars of Lord Ganesh have also been depicted, including Matsya Vinayaka and Hamsa Vinayaka.Sankarayya’s brother S Sudershan has been continuing the tradition of Ganesh puja in Khairatabad with the help of Sandeep Raj and his son S Rajkumar.
This year’s theme:
For this year’s idol, the Committee members have chosen the theme ‘Sakutumba Saparivara Sametha- Shiva Parivaram’, representing the idols of Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati and their family.
The pandal in Khairatabad depicts Lord Ganesh standing on a lotus (kamalam) with five faces and ten hands. Of the five faces, two are of Lord Shiva and Mata Parvathi. The 60-feet idol has seven serpents in the background that are blessed by Siddhi with a lion to its left and Buddhi and a Nandi on the right. Along with the idol of Lord Ganesha, idols of Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati, Lord Ayyappa, Lord Kumarswamy, Riddhi and Siddhi-sametha Sri Vinayaka Swamy have also been installed. They are flanked by the idols of Lakshmi Narsimha Swamy and Durga Mata on the left and right side respectively. Khairatabad Ganesh Utsav Committee Secretary S Sudarshan said, “City clay artist Rajendran has sculpted the idol with the help of at least 200 workers. He has been in the statue-making profession for a long time and designed the idol in 2013 also.”
Sudarshan said that the ‘Maha Laddu’, which weighs just less that 5 tonnes, was prepared by Mali Babu at Tapeswaram in Kakinada. Weighing 4,800 kg, the laddu has been placed in the palm of the giant idol.
Ingredients that have been used are 1,000 kg of pure cow ghee, 1,450 kg gram dal, 2,250 kg of sugar, 170 kg of cashew, 90 kg of almond, 30 kg of cardamom and 10 kg of yellow camphor. The laddu has been prepared at an approximate cost of Rs 20 lakh.It is specially prepared to see to it that the laddu remains edible for at least 11-days, which is the duration of the celebrations. It would be distributed to the devotees after the day of Nimajjan.
Safety arrangements like installing CCTV cameras, deploying of security personnel and police presence have been undertaken both by the Utsav Committee members and city police officials. Additionally, parking for those arriving in vehicles has been allotted at a nearby
ground to avoid any traffic congestion or inconveniences to the devotees.