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Museum for the Elephant God

Jogindersingh Kahaan has a dream, that of setting up an International Ganpathi Dham.

india Updated: Aug 12, 2006 03:56 IST

Jogindersingh Kahaan has a dream, that of setting up an International Ganpathi Dham. An ardent devotee of Lord Ganesha, Kahaan arguably has the largest collection of Ganpati idols — not just in different shapes and sizes, but in some of the rarest forms.

A practising Sikh (though not of the turbaned type), the 54-year-old has started work for the International Ganpathi Dham at an 11-acre land at Vawandhar Village near Panvel.

“I’m devoted to Lord Ganesha. He solves all my problems,” says Kahaan, who has been collecting idols for the last 16 years.

Kahaan’s niece, who used to collect Ganesha idols, is the force behind his passion. Today, he has more than 10,000 idols from all over the world. “I buy Ganesh idols from wherever and at whatever cost,” Kahaan says.

One of the rarest items in Kahaan’s collection is a sculpture portraying 32 forms of Ganesha that find mention only in the ‘Mudgar Puran’. His collection also boasts of female forms of Ganesha called Vinayakis, Bhuja Ganesha, Mandar Ganesh and Ark Ganesh. He also has idols made from materials like bamboo shoots, stones and papier mache. Kahaan also has eight stamps of different countries with the lord’s picture and a 2000 rupiah note of Indonesia having Ganesha’s photo.

A multifaceted personality, Kahaan is a businessman, a qualified detective and auditor. With offices across India, he travels a lot. This, he says, has helped him to scout for Ganesha idols.

And not just idols, Kahaan also has 6,000 books and some rare photographs of the lord. Having conducted extensive research on Ganesha, Kahaan has set up a workshop, where he manufactures some of the rare idols that are described in the Puranas.

His entire collection is yet to be kept under one roof. Kahaan has kept several idols and books at places like Goa, Karnataka and Nagpur.

About his Ganpati Dham mission, Kahaan says, “This will be a place where all forms of Ganesha and their history would be available.”

First Published: Aug 12, 2006 03:56 IST