Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ganesh Chaturthi à la Pottery Town!


Lord Ganesha

I had been meaning to go to Pottery Town for quite sometime now. But something or the other always came up at the last minute. The last attempt, a week back, had to be cancelled as rain played spoilsport. So this Sunday, I was glad to be finally in Pottery Town despite a not-so-good weather forecast. Pottery Town is a street full of pottery vendors in East Bangalore behind Frazer Town, quite close to the Cantonment Railway Station. It was formed years back when the Government decided to give a piece of land on lease to a group of 60 potter families. The profession has been carried on for more than three generations with currently more than 20 families still in business.

In progress clay idols of Lord Ganesh

The place provides a great opportunity to see the world of potters and their workmanship. The entire life cycle of pottery can be experienced, right from wheels making pottery to drying them in symmetric way and finally burning them in kilns to make the final product. The pots are then painted using spray paints and kept in shops for sale. Mahendra and I reached the place early, around eight in the morning, hoping to get some pictures of potters turning their wheels and moulding clay into beautiful pots. But we were in for a pleasant surprise.

Statues of Lord Ganesha

The whole place was transformed in anticipation of Ganesh Chaturthi which was the next day. Beautiful idols of Lord Ganesha in myriad shapes, sizes and colors, each depicting the Lord in different poses adorned the streets. Several makeshift tents had scores of completed and work in progress statues with artisans putting finishing touches.

An artisan putting the finishing touches

Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chavithi or simply Ganeshotsav, is one of the most joyous of Indian festivals. The day marks the birth of Lord Ganesha, the benign elephant-headed god, considered the destroyer of all evils and harbinger of good luck. Lord Ganesha is the lord of all the good qualities in us. He is also the lord of knowledge and wisdom. It is believed that when we worship Lord Ganesha, all good qualities will blossom in us.

Trying a zoom in while capturing Lord Ganesha statue

People across the country, and even abroad, celebrate Ganeshotsav with great zeal and passion. But the celebrations are opulent, colourful and elaborate in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and the entire coastal belt of Konkan where thousands of small villages annually come alive with the music and lights of Ganeshotsav. In this region, the festivities were started by Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the first popular leader of the Indian Independence Movement, cocking a snook at the then British government. During the British Rule of India, common public was prohibited from gathering in large numbers. Lokmanya Tilak founded the publicly celebrated Ganeshotsav Festival as a means of promoting the dream of Indian Independence, uniting people from diverse groups, and enhancing their sense of social belonging.

Lord Ganesha

Wishing everyone a happy Ganesh Chaturthi! Ganapati Bappa Morya! Mangal Murti Morya!

133 comments:

  1. I remember the festivities well from my childhood in India. As you pointed out, there was something liberating in it. Ganesha (or Ganpatti in our region) always held a fascination for me.

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    1. I am glad it reminded you of some good old memories. I think Ganpati was a title given to him which means ruler of people.

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  2. So beautiful pictures , clear and colorful :)

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    1. Thank you for the lovely comment Aunt Mary.

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  3. Wow, the idols of the Lord Ganesha looking amazing! thanks for sharing a beautiful post, dear. Happy Ganesh Chaturthi all my friends!

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  4. Wow, what the amazing idols of the Lord Ganesha! Extraordinary art work..
    Happy Ganesh Chaturthi...

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    1. Thank you for the kind comment and good wishes!

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  5. I don't think I have ever seen something so enchantingly beautiful - what a nice surprise it was for you to see all of this and thank you so much for sharing. You saw the artist at work - how neat is that :) Have a wonderful day. Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to all.

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    1. Yes. It was a nice surprise indeed. Thank you for the good wishes!

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  6. Beautiful Pictures.
    However, I want to know whether the colors used by these artists are the harmful type or not, for eventually it has to be immersed and if these colors are toxic then the lakes would be polluted, isn't it?
    Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!

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    1. From what I saw, they mostly use distemper, thinner, water colour paints and adhesives. I would think the main issue of pollution would be from the widely prevalent usage of plaster of paris instead of clay.

      Thanks for the good wishes!

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  7. Very nice... thanks for the coverage!

    www.volatilespirits.com

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  8. I believe artisans working with clay are the real creators of all artists. Beautiful images here...it is sad to see these idols get immersed later!

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    1. The immersion is a vital part of the festivities. I guess it symbolizes the cycle of creation and dissolution in nature. In old times, devotees used to make Ganesh idols from clay from their own yards/fields and then after the festivities will immerse them in their own ponds.

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  9. One of the best grips on the historical, geographical and social connections in a photographic storyboard that I have ever seen.

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  10. Not to mention the beautiful pictures of Lord Ganesha' idols. The photos are so good that I am wondering if I had seen the picture in real life.

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    1. You mentioned you missed Ganesh Puja this year. Enjoy a virtual darshan :)

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  11. Great to see you capturing different festivals through your camera's eye.. nice photos..!! Happy Ganesh Chaturthi.!!

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    1. Thank you for the wishes! I am not choosy, I can say that ;)
      Hope to see you here more often.

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  12. looks like an exciting place to be with or without a camera. i like the second photo without the paint on them.. beautiful and brilliant

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    1. It's pretty exciting for sure. I am planning another trip soon. Hopefully, this time I will get to see the wheel :)

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  13. I enjoyed learning about the festival, love your images of the pottery and artist at work. Delightful details and colors!

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    1. Glad you found something useful from the post. It's always fun to know about different cultures, traditions and practices followed in different parts of the country. The blogosphere provides a wonderful opportunity to get a glimpse of this.

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  14. Such beautiful captures! I've always admired the beautiful deity sculptures that adorn the walls of Hindu temples. The details are amazing!

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    1. Nice to know you enjoyed the post. The sculptures on temple walls are intricate works of art which date back hundreds of years. Most of those on different kinds of stones. These Ganesha idols are mostly from clay. Also, these days plaster of paris is quite popular as an alternative.

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  15. WoW, these are so colorful, so beautiful.....you captured the art brilliantly!!

    looks like a wonderful place to visit, i would love to see it in person!!

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    1. I am sure you will. It's quite fascinating seeing the artists at work. Thanks for stopping by.

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  16. Fabulous artists and such gorgeous COLORS... Wow--you captured the festival so well. Thanks for sharing the beauty.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed the post. I sometimes get a bit fortunate :)

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  17. These are wonderful images!
    I love the vibrant colors.

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    1. I am always flattered when someone as accomplished in photography as you comments here. It's very motivating.

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  18. What a treat that you arrived for the festival! The photographs are gorgeous and I love reading about the history in particular ("cocking a snook" is a new term for me!). I think the last shot is my favorite of a wonderful group.

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    1. Lady Fortune tends to smile at me a bit too often :)

      Glad you enjoyed the post. The phrase is old-fashioned British. It means showing you do not respect something or someone by doing something that insults them.

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  19. Such great craftsmanship, so full of color.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the post and the pictures :)

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  20. Thank YOU!!!
    Thanks for the color, the story - and for sharing about things i have always wanted to know more about . . . I sure enjoy traveling around with you in this way.

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    1. I am happy to be your guide :)

      It's not surprising you wanted to know about Ganesha when you mentioned your liking for Saraswati in a previous comment. Both Ganesha and Saraswati are worshipped and revered by students as the God and Goddess of knowledge and learning.

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  21. Replies
    1. The artisans are quite talented, you have to agree :)

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  22. lord ganesha sounds like a good one to pray to.

    i really like the natural colored ones in your 2nd shot.

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    1. Those are good for the environment as well. At the conclusion of the ceremony the idols are immersed in ponds, lakes and rivers. Chemical paints have been a source of pollution for some time.

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  23. Wow! What gorgeous photographs you've taken and I thoroughly enjoyed the history lesson. I think it is wonderful that the celebration takes place at this time in history. Thank you for sharing it- I imagine being right in the mix.

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    1. I am glad you felt part of the festivities and enjoyed learning about Ganesha. Thanks for stopping by.

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  24. It sounds to me that you enjoyed a bit of serendipity. You went looking for one thing, and found something even better. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Such lovely colors in those figures. I hope you enjoyed the festival.

    (Now you're going to have to go back to see the pottery on another non-festival day, when the offerings will be more diverse.)

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    1. Yes I have been quite fortunate that way, Lady Luck has a beautiful smile :)

      I'll definitely need to go back again, I so want to see a potter's wheel.

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  25. Thanks for sharing this colorful pottery with us. Thanks, too, for the interesting information.

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    1. I am glad you found the post interesting and enjoyed the photography. Have a great week!

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  26. Amazing, colourful and beautiful.

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  27. Great to know about such a place in Bangalore. Wonderful shots.

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    1. There are lots of jewels in Bangalore (from Photography perspective) that are not so well known in the tourist circuit. Glad you liked the pictures :)

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  28. Beautiful photos!
    Greetings, RW & SK

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  29. Interesting post with lovely captures!

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    1. Glad you found the post interesting and enjoyed the photography.

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  30. Replies
    1. Getting a comment from a superb photographer like you is always like a pat on the back. Your work has always been my motivation in street photography.

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  31. Wonderful composition, excellent colors, that beautiful elephants!

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed the post and the different pictures of Ganesh :)

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  32. Amazing place...I m in banglore now...if possible I would love to visit too...!
    BTW there is no need to say but can't stop myself from retelling that wonderful photography!

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    1. That's amazing. I thought you were based in Hyderabad. Didn't know you moved here. If you plan to visit Potter Town, try a Saturday. Sunday, it seems most of them prefer to rest.

      And thanks again for the compliment :)

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  33. Great set of pictures! I love the colours.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. I am glad you liked the pictures. The statues were quite rick in colours :)

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  34. Replies
    1. Most Indian festivities are vividly colorful. Colours play a vital part in our cultures, I guess.

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  35. Ganesh Chaturthi to Anant Chaturdashi.. 10 days of festivity
    There is group living very close to my place who make and sell Ganpati and Durga idols and other pottery related items throughout year..
    their rough and rustic life-style always fascinated me..

    your pictures were beautiful n vibrant..
    very lively

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    1. I would have loved to known such a family. It would be a perennial source of pictures, at the very least :)
      But good that you reminded me of Durga Puja. It's not celebrated in a very grand way here, unfortunately, but I think this is the time when the statues would be in progress. I'll try to get a few pictures.

      Thanks for the lovely accolades :)

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  36. Amazingly beautiful pictures. I liked them all and thank you for sharing the 'Tilak Fact'I wasn't aware of it.

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    1. I am glad you gained some new information from the post and liked the photography :)

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  37. Beautiful pictures. I feel quite sorry for myself, I lived in Bangalore but never explored it.

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    1. Glad you liked the pictures. Don't think you need to feel sorry about that, unless, of course, you plan to settle down abroad for good :)

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  38. What a amazing glimpse into another world...here it's summer going into fall, and where you are it's colorful details, and bright lights...stunning.

    The answer to your question [sorry it's taking me a few days to return it] is that I redirected from a subdomain, to a top level domain, and lost my blog. It's been a real fun ride, but I learnt a lot about DNS, and many other subjects.

    Jen

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    1. That's true. The blogosphere opens up a pandora's box by giving glimpses from all over the globe.

      I was wondering about the issue. At least you had a good learning from the experience. I hope everything is sorted out now.

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  39. Way too late to wish you a Happy and Holy celebration...thank you for sharing it. You picked a perfect day to visit Pottery Town with all its colorful depictions of Lord Ganesh.

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    1. Thanks for the good wishes. You are not late actually. The festivities continue for 10 days from Ganesh Chaturthi till Anant Chaturdashi.

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  40. Great photos and interesting commentary.

    Re Ganesh: For some reason, I tend to think he's blue...

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    1. Some Indian Gods like Shiva, Vishnu, Ram and Krishna are usually depicted in blue. In the holy books these Gods are said to be dark-skinned. I have assumed this would have prompted the artists and painters to depict them in blue. Lord Ganesha, though, is not usually shown in blue.

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  41. That looks like amazing pottery! I love how colorful they paint them. Very beautiful shots!

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    1. The artisans are quite talented indeed. I am glad you enjoyed the post.

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  42. The difference between the first and the second picture shows how colours add life to it.

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    1. Or you can say the difference between a starting point and the final destination :)

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  43. Gorgeous pottery! I must admit locals are some talented and gifted.

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    1. They have been honing the skills for generations, the results are there for all to see :)

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  44. What lovely, bright colorful photographs!

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    1. Glad you liked the pictures. Thanks for stopping by.

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  45. It's a treat to watch your captures. Each one is exquisite.

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed the photography. Thanks for visiting.

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  46. Excellent pics. You were lucky to go exactly one day before the festival. Even in Chennai, this festival is predominantly celebrated in a boring way, except in certain pockets/communities. Unfortunately, ours is not one of them!!

    Destination Infinity

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    1. I did get lucky. I have heard of the celebrations in Chennai from some friends. But nothing beats the Ganeshotsav celebrations in Mumbai.

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  47. So colourful and lovely but I especially like the one of the artist.

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  48. Photos are really so vibrant! In Kolkata also there's a potters' colony called Kumartoli where one can document beautiful makings of Goddess Durga before Durgapuja/dussera festival :)

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  49. Ganpati bapa Moriya. . A G+ for ur post and Have a Nice Day. . . :)

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  50. Beautiful idols of Ganesha...Loved the colours of the festival..:-)

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  51. Your photo's are really nice and i love the colors very much.

    Greetings from Holland, Joop


    http://joopzandfotografie.blogspot.nl

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  52. such lovely images!!!!

    http://www.myunfinishedlife.com

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  53. That does look like a pleasant surprise. It's nice to see the arts experienced from the perspective of the artists, and this looks like the perfect way for it.

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  54. Good post and good photos.

    Now, in the name of innovation, the idols are being made of all kinds of materials including chocolates!

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  55. wow! what beautiful pictures ! but we bring clay idol only without any paints beacause of environment.

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  56. Amazingly beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing the 'Tilak Fact' most of us don't know it:)

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  57. Yes, this festival does bring the community together.

    Didn't know about the Pottery town near Frazer Town. Looks like the visit was quite a feast for your eyes (and lens). Belated festival wishes. :)

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  58. It seems that Lord Ganesha is speaking through your lens:)

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  59. simply beautifully captured shots...lovely!

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  60. Not that we are here to compare the pics, but the first pic was absolutely amazing. So very divine. And the last one too. The last one was even more royal and elegant! :-)

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  61. As always beautiful post! Great colorful shots!

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  62. Oh my!! Gnaesh chathurthi looks even better through your lens than in real life. Its a definite compliment!!

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  63. what a colorful festival, great post

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  64. How beautiful and colorful! Happy Ganesh.

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  65. Beautiful rendition of the festival through the eyes of your lens...:-)

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  66. Beautiful pics. So colorful. Esp. I love the 5th pic...
    Bhusha's INDIA TRAVELOGUE

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  67. Wonderful photos yaar.. full of colors..

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  68. Nice photos.. must be an awesome place to be.. you are lucky dude..

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  69. Almost 3 months and no photo-post?

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  70. Almost 3 months and no photo-post?

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  71. "Tryst with the Shutter Bug!!" has been included in the Sites To See for this week. Be assured that I hope this helps to point many new visitors in your direction.

    http://asthecrackerheadcrumbles.blogspot.com/2013/12/sites-to-see_13.html

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  72. Alucinantes...muy bonitas...un abrazo desde Murcia...

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  73. Awesome shots Ramakant! Love them all...

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  74. Those are some really great shots!

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