Demand for marble Vinayaka high this time in Vadapalani, Chennai

Chennai: If you happen to visit Vadapalani Murugan Temple and its surroundings, you are bound to witness several idols of Lord Ganesha flooding the pavements and entrance of shops.

With Vinayaka Chathurthi falling Monday, Hindus celebrate the festival to mark the birth of Lord Ganesha. The area springs up with visual spectacle as numerous merchants sell colourful idols of Lord Ganesha and others with special savories.

Sumati, who has been in the business of making idols for the past 30 years has a shop at South Perumal Koil Street.

“Every year, people demand different idols of Ganesha. They come asking for idols which they come across the Internet.”

Likewise, another merchant, Kumar who sells at Palani Andavar Koil Street says the demand for marble idols have climbed up this year. ‘Many idols are now made using eco-friendly materials like papier-mache,’ he says.

He points out that with measures being adopted by residents to consume environmental products, people are naturally opting to go for idols made of harmless components. ‘Such idols dissolve in water and are also cheap,’ adds Kumar.

Clay and marble idols of Ganesha are reported to be a hit, say shop owners at Amman Koil Street. “Marble dusts are moulded to make idols,” says Senthil.

“They are quite strong and heavy. The idols in the market start from Rs 50 to Rs 2,500. The smallest idols fits a palm,” says Senthil, showing his collection of wooden Ganeshas.

“It involves expert craftsmanship. One mistake can chip or break the wood piece,” he adds.

With temples and shopkeepers ready, residents have a lot to celebrate this festive day.