Ganesh Chaturthi isn’t complete without colourful parades dancing on the streets and idols of varying sizes being immersed in water bodies. In between the fun and frolic, it isn’t often that we think about the environmental effects of these celebrations.
While there are several brands like Book A Workshop that sell Ganesh idols made of clay, this year, why not ditch the store-bought Plaster of Paris (PoP) idols for some environmentally-friendly alternatives? Here are five types of homemade idols which will make your festival even more special:
1. Clay idols
Shadu maati or the natural clay found in river banks can be utilised to make idols. They are easily soluble in water and cause no damage to the environment. Unlike PoP idols, these are heavy and last for a longer period, if needed.
- Mix water and clay and make a non-sticky dough.
- Cut it to make different body parts. Small portions for hands, legs and bigger portions for the body.
- Insert a thin stick or toothpick in the middle to maintain the posture.
- When the total structure is set, use a sharp object to draw features and clothes.
- Paint with natural colours if you like and any other details as per creativity.
2. Rice flour idol
Ever thought rice powder can be used to make an idol? Flour, being a common item in every household can be utilised along with some colourful spices to create this art.
- Follow the same method of clay idol making. Remember to mix some oil while mixing the dough so that it remains non-sticky.
- Cardamom, pepper, chilli flakes and any other colourful item from the kitchen can be used to make eyes, ornaments and clothes for the idol.
- Use turmeric or food colour to make the idol eye-catchy.
3. Newspaper clay idol
If there’s no chance of procuring river bank clay, old newspapers can come to the rescue. Also, it is much easier to add colours to the paper mix or paint the idol.
- Shred newspaper into pieces.
- Soak it in water for half a day and grind it in a blender.
- Remove the excess water completely by squeezing it in a piece of cloth.
- Mix one cup of all-purpose flour in two cups of water and boil it in high flame to get a thick batter.
- Add a teaspoon of lemon juice to it and let it dry.
- Mix the blended newspaper with the batter and turn it into a dough.
- To make durable idols, refrigerate the dough for a few days.
- Follow the same steps as before to form an idol.
- Use any colours of your choice for the final touch.
4. Newspaper clay idol
In order to make this yellow colour idol, all you have to do is mix turmeric powder in maida or rice flour along with oil. Follow the same method to make a beautiful idol in a customised size.
5. Plant idol
Turn your Ganesha idol into a plant after visarjan. For this, mix a few plant seeds of your choice while preparing the clay dough. Vegetables, herbs or fruit seeds can be used. After the festival, soak the idol in water and mix it with garden soil.
Edited by Yoshita Rao
Feature image credits: Raag Madhu/ Instagram