Hollywood Basti: The Ganesh Galli of Ahmedabad


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Ahmedabad is one of the four metro cities of Gujarat. It is the financial hub and the backbone of the state. The city has a lot to share in terms of art and cultural heritage. In Ahmedabad, all the festivals are celebrated with great zest and enthusiasm. Name the festival and people enjoy it to their heart’s content. The preparations for each and every festival in the city start almost a month in advance. Whether it is Navratri, Diwali, Makar Sankranti or Christmas and New year celebrations, people of Ahmedabad stand together as a family and celebrate these festivals. Today we are discussing the Ganesh Galli of Ahmedabad. The Hollywood Basti which is famous for making Ganpati idols. 

What is Ganesh Chaturthi?

First of all, let me introduce to you the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. Ganesh Chaturthi is an eight-day festival celebrated to pay obeisance to Lord Ganesha, the provider of growth and prosperity ( Riddhi & Siddhi). It is believed that while writing Mahabharata, the body temperature of Lord Ganesha had risen due to constant writing. As a result, after the completion of the epic sage Ved Vyas and the local people decided to make him stay at their place for eight days till his body temperature cooled down and did all the pooja Archana to him with great devotion. This entire festival lasts for eight days and is called Ganesh Chaturthi. 

In Ahmedabad, the preparation of this festival begins about one to two months prior to the festival dates. 

Hollywood Basti: The Ganesh Galli of Ahmedabad

This Basti is known as the Dharavi of Ahmedabad. It has more than 7000 residents. Most of them have migrated from Rajasthan in search of work to Ahmedabad and stay in the Hollywood Basti. Why the area got the name of Hollywood is because one of the photographers made the ladies of this area portray as Hollywood celebrities and took their pictures. These pictures became world-famous and Hence the name Hollywood Basti. 

These people make the Ganesh and other deities idols from POP. These Idols are sold not only in Ahmedabad, but, throughout the country. As a result, this area is also known as the Ganesh Galli of Ahmedabad

The process of idol making

Ganpati bappa
Ganpati bappa

These idols are made from Plaster of Paris. Plaster of Paris is widely used in the process of idol making and home decoration. POP is made by heating Gypsum. Gypsum is heated and crumpled to make the powder, which is then mixed with water to make the idols.  The POP mixture is poured into the rubber mold and mixed to evenly spread the paste to the complex parts of the mold. The process is repeated to make the mixture thicker. 

Ganesh idol at Ganesh Galli of Ahmedabad
Ganesh idol at Ganesh Galli of Ahmedabad

The idol is removed carefully from the mold and left in the sun to dry for a couple of hours. The other body parts of the idol are then sculpted with the help of clay. Sandpaper is used to give a finishing touch to the idol and then it is colored with beautiful colors. Coconut Skin is also used for making the idol.

The Raw Materials used

The raw materials used in the process of idol making mainly involve Plaster of Paris, which is the main raw material. The other raw materials include Rubber mold, tire tube to tie the mold tightly, Coconut fiber, which is filled inside the mold to give strength to the mold, various colors, paintbrushes and sandpaper to give finishing touch to the idol.

So, this is how Lord Ganesha Idols are made at Hollywood Basti and sold to various parts of our country. 

Image Source: ahmedabadheritage.wordpress.com