57-foot Khairatabad Ganesh is one of the tallest Ganesh idols in the country. On Thursday, it was unveiled for public darshan. It took nearly 120 skilled workers to make the giant idol who were occupied with the work for last three months. Flocks of devotees visit the massive elephant-headed god’s idol during the 11-day celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi. Special arrangements has been made by the Ganesh Utsav Committee, Khairatabad like setting up barricades, to enable the smooth darshan for devotees. CCTV’s have been installed and volunteers have been deployed for the devotees. This grand celebration is as lit as before, but this time the Tameswaram laddu will be missing.
The Utsav committee took the decision to break the 6-year-long ritual of inviting Malle Babu, a sweet-maker from Tapeswaram village in East Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh to prepare the laddu for the idol. The Ganesh idol is shown holding a Plaster of Paris laddu in his left hand and Babu used to make a similar one to that in shape and size.
A 75-foot kanduva (towel) and 75-foot Jandhyam (sacred thread) was offered to Lord Ganesha on Friday in the morning by the members of Khairatabad Padmshali Sangham. 500 weavers were engaged in making the kanduva and jandhyam and was carried out in a special procession from Lakdi-Ka-Pul to the Ganesha pandal. Governor ESL Narasimhan attended the special Pooja at 11 am on Friday morning.
This year, Tapeswaram sweet-maker has presented a 500-kg laddu to the 12-foot idol installed by Film Nagar Daiva Sannidhanam after being unable to offer one to Khairatababu Ganesha idol. Malle Babu has offered the similar laddu to the idol set up by Film Nagar by mostly film celebrities.
"We have used 180 kg sugar, 140 kg ghee, 155 kg Bengal gram, 25 kg dry fruits and other ingredients in preparation of the laddu, said Malle Babu.
“We completed the preparation of the laddu in two days and, on Thursday, sent it to Hyderabad by a special van. It will arrive in Hyderabad on Friday, he said. Another laddu, weighing 100 kg was also prepared for Jagannath temple, located on Road No, 12, Banjara Hills. Babu has offered both laddus free of cost.”
"The laddu presented by the Tapeswaram sweet-maker will be distributed among devotees.However, we will put up for auction a 12-kg laddu," Film Nagar Daiva Sannidahanam chairman M Murali Mohan told Times of India.
From next year, the grand Khairatabad Ganesha Idol will not be made using plaster of Paris. Clay will be used instead. Following the advice from Governor ESL Narasimhan on Thursday, the Ganesh Utsava Committee agrees on installing clay idol from next year.
"When we met the governor couple to invite them for a special puja on Friday, he advised us to shun PoP and use clay in preparation of the idol. The committee has accepted his advice and decided to use clay from next year," secretary, Ganesh Utsava Committee, Khairatabad, S Sudarshan told Times of India.
The height of clay idol will be somewhere between 80-foot and 100-foot.