Idol makers add divine delight to festivity in Lucknow - Hindustan Times
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Idol makers add divine delight to festivity in Lucknow

BySreya Deb
Nov 10, 2023 07:51 PM IST

While lights, décor and crackers have undergone change, the traditional market for these products remains lively during this part of the year

LUCKNOW Ahead of Diwali, artisans are busy catering to the demand for idols used for the festival night rituals. While lights, décor and crackers have undergone change, the traditional market for these products remains lively during this part of the year given the festive fervour among people.

The idol shop run by the Prajapati family, at Chhedi Lal Dharamshala, in Aminabad market. (HT Photo)
The idol shop run by the Prajapati family, at Chhedi Lal Dharamshala, in Aminabad market. (HT Photo)

Sanjay Kumar Prajapati’s three-generation-old idol shop, which is set up every year at the Chhedi Lal Dharamshala, is the oldest one in Aminabad market. He took over the business after his grandfather and his daughter Brahmi Prajapati, a class 10 student and an artist, wants to take up this craft in future.

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Their idols are shipped from Kolkata, after which the Prajapatis put their trademark decorations on them and sell thousands.

“Our family and extended family are engaged in making the idols - from painting and dressing them to cladding them with jewellery and finishing touches,” shared Sanjay.

The idols here start from 301, and can go up to 2,101. “It is not a price but a dakshina. Our customers trust us - when they buy an idol from us, it is not simply a statue…they believe our idols are auspicious,” said the Prajapatis.

The largest idols here are 2.5 feet high, and are the most expensive of the lot. However, Prajapati confesses, that in over 90 years of business since the 1930s, it is only recently that their business is seeing a dip. “We are able to break even, but hardly make any profits,” he said, adding that the family is resolute in continuing the business.

The lanes of Aminabad are dotted by other smaller street shops, with slightly lower prices.

A row of Lakshmi-Ganesh idol shops can also be seen in Saadatganj. As these idols are usually not immersed in water bodies and kept in homes for about a year, they have to be made of terracotta rather than clay. Many of the sellers here are also manufacturers and the price range offered here is similar to that in Aminabad.

There is a spot near IT College crossing where such idols can be purchased, but at prices higher than the two other places. Besides, small street shops can be spotted in Old City areas.

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