Conch-shaped Ganesh big hit in Sambalpur

A gigantic Ganesh idol made of 2.5 lakh sea shells is the cynosure of all eyes in the week-long puja in Sambalpur, which began here on Wednesday.

In a month-long effort, members of Natraj Club of Sambalpur’s Khetrajpur fashioned the unique idol out of sea shells procured from Puri and Rameswaram.

“It was not easy to procure such a huge quantity of sea shells. We contacted several people and finally we procured it from Puri and Rameswaram. The idol has been prepared in the shape of seven conchs,” said senior member of the club Gopal Pansari.

According to him, they never engage any artists or decorators to prepare the idol, the club members do everything themselves. In previous years, the club has made attractive Ganesh idols out of coconuts, bananas, roses and laddus.

“We have been celebrating Ganesh puja since the past 40 years. Since 1995 we have been making Ganesh idols out of unusual materials. Our idols are unique as we make them out of only one kind of material at a time. Till date we have successfully prepared Ganesh Idols with bananas, laddu, injection syringes, flowers, rudrakhyas and coconuts. Our puja is always a major crowd puller,” said Natraj Club president Sib Kumar Rathi on Thursday.

Ganesh puja is special for the people of western Orissa as it follows the famous Nuakhai festival the next day.

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