The legacy commenced in 1954, and in 2022 it is the 68th year of Hyderabad’s most iconic Ganesha idol, Khairatabad Ganesh. The Khairatabad Ganesh is a public sculpture of the Hindu deity Ganesha in Hyderabad, India. The idol received recognition as one of India’s most famous Ganesh idols. Hyderabad is known for its multicultural diversity, where people celebrate all kinds of festivals, from Dussehra and Ramadan Diwali to Christmas, and Ganesh Chaturthi also is not an exception. There are numerous pandals built across Hyderabad during the Ganesh Chaturthi celebration. But Khairatabad Ganesh Puja is famous for its gigantic height of the Ganesh idol and the weight of laddu with a grand celebration. In 2019, the Khairatabad Ganesh idol’s height was 61 feet (19 m). The idol was recognized as the tallest Ganesha idol in India that year.
People from all religious backgrounds participate in the 11-day-long celebration. The ambiance here becomes joyful and vibrant due to the fun-filled toy stores and various food stalls.
At the beginning of iconic Khairatabad Ganesh idol
The majestic Ganesha Utsav of Khairatabad got established in the year 1954 which turned it into a glorious period. The Ganesha idol of Khairatabad was just 1 foot high. It was started by Singari Shankaraiah, an Indian independence movement activist and former corporate motivated by Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s plea in 1893 to celebrate the festival as a symbol of unity. Since then, the Ganesha idol’s height has been increasing each year. The 11 days Ganesha festival witnesses’ immense enthusiasm from devotees from all walks of life and every community. The 11th day of the puja concludes by immersing the Ganesha idol in the iconic Hussain Sagar Lake in the center of Hyderabad.
Khairatabad Ganesh gained prominence in 1983, Kamal Haasan acted film Sagara Sangamam by K. Viswanath. Kamal Haasan’s dance sequences in this movie were filmed in front of the idol.
The Ganesha idol has been positioned outside the temple since 1978. The journey continued when Chinnaswamy Rajendran, who previously worked in film set designing in South Indian cinema, was the chief architect and supervised the idol’s design since 1978. It was the same year when the organizers and managing committee commissioned an additional idol to be established at Dhoolpet, a neighboring locality in Hyderabad, had Chinnaswamy unable to deliver.
In 2019, the Khairatabad Ganesh idol’s height was 61 feet (19 m). The idol was recognized as the tallest Ganesha idol in India that year.
The present-day celebration
This year, the Ganesh idol at Khairatabad will be 50 feet tall and would be made with clay for the first time by breaking the conventional tradition of idol making using plaster of Paris. The idea immerged from the realization of toxic pollutants getting absorbed every year during immersion time inside the waterbody of Hussain Sagar Lake. The overall health of the place was getting hampered because the Ganesh Puja Committee at Khairatabad has taken such an innovative decision in accordance with the decision of the honourable Supreme Court.
The theme of this Ganesh idol gets changed every year. This year’s clay idol, will be having an innovative theme as part of their tradition; it’s called ‘Panchamukhi Mahalakshmi Ganapathi.’ The clay Ganesha idol would be positioned 80 days in advance of Ganesh Chaturthi, which falls on August 31. More than 100 artisans from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, and Tamil Nadu will be participating in making this grand idol at Khairatabad.
The Ganesh Utsav committee at Khairatabad published a photograph. It announced that apart from the jumbo Ganesh idol, there would be two other idols, such as Sri Shanmukha Subramanya Swamy on the right side, while on the left side will be Trishakti Maha Gayatri Devi.
Interestingly, this year, the Khairatabad Ganesh idol and other idols wouldn’t be immersed inside Hussain Sagar Lake directly. Instead, the idol would be sprinkled with water and melted down, and then the clay would be distributed to all the devotees aiming at gardening and making small Ganesha idols at home.