Mangalore: Yogish Mallya - 25 years of crafting exquisite Ganesha idols

Mangalore: Yogish Mallya - 25 years of crafting exquisite Ganesha idols

Vineeth Monis
Pics: Spoorthi Ullal
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore

Mangalore, Sep 2: Ganesh Chaturthi, one of the most vibrant festivals of India, is round the corner. It's that time of the year when attractve Ganesha idols of myriad colours deck the city, but little does anyone know the hands that carve them.

For the past 24 years, Yogish Mallya has been devoutly offering his services as an idol maker, specializing in crafting images of Lord Ganesha for Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations.

Steppping into his 25th year, Mallya says that art has been a part of his life since childhood. He learnt this creative art form from his guru Damodar Prabhu. In Dakshina Kannada, only around 7 to 8 people are involved in making clay statues.

Mallya, speaking to Daijiworld, said, “In Dakshina Kannada, clay statues are given more importance as they give a more realistic feel. We begin the idol-making process around three  months before the actual festivities begin."

During the process, all customs and traditions are retained which also includes natural paints to decorate the idols.  Custom made clay adds a personal touch to the process.

“I have a team of around 3 to 4 people who assist me in the idol-making and they have been employed specially for these months,” he said.

During the rest of the year, Mallya involves himself in other businesses such as creating decorative items and clay sculptures.

“The Ganesha statues vary in sizes from 1 to 7 feet. Customers’ orders are accepted only after they specify the size since traditions need to be maintained,” added Mallya.

 "We receive more than 100 orders every season. Idol-making is a strenuous and slow process since we need to make each part of the idol with utmost care. Colour and extra art work are completed only 15 days before the delivery date and the idols are delivered one week before the required date," he stated.

Mallya receives orders from all over Karnataka, Kannur and Calicut in Kerala, and many other states. The idol-making is generally carried out at Shri Veera Hanumantha Temple in Gollarakeri.

Mallya proudly adds that the customers over the years have remained loyal and also that they spread the good word which is proven through the fact that his orders are ever-increasing.

Across Dakshina Kannada, his statues have been showcased at Urwa Mariguddi, Gowri Matha, Maariamma temple, Asaigoli, Konaje, Manjeshwara, and Mudipu. The idols also decorate small homes as per orders. Other idols such as those of Goddess Sharada, Goddess Durga and other deities are made as per the orders received.

Mallya appeals to the youth to join him as he is willing to teach anyone interested in learning this art form. "It does take a certain skill to learn this art and neither is it a well-paid job since it is seasonal,. But I am willing to impart my skill to the youth so that they may carry it to the future generations,” he added.


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