Ganesha's Den


Have you ever seen a stuffed toy Ganesha? Or any of the following for that matter – Ganesha enjoying a bullock cart ride, or simply lying on a ‘khatiya’ (the traditional cot made of knotted rope), Ganesha talking on the phone, in a lawyer’s attire or depicted as a teacher? If not you can see all these and more at Ganesha Prapancha – meaning ‘world of Ganeshas’ right here in Bangalore. This place boasts of so many idols of the elephant-headed God – 2,020 in all to be precise – all under one roof! This is no a shop or museum, but the result of one man’s hobby that turned into a passion over the last 14 years that his collection grew. And to give them all a place of pride and display his objects of affection, Mr. K.C. Prakash constructed a big hall with a mezzanine floor, measuring 4,500 square feet atop his house.

The size of the idols range from a minute ½ an inch to a mammoth 11 feet Panchamukhi (five-faced) Ganesha. There are some that need special mention. A bronze statuette of the divine Goddess Parvati showing her maternal qualities, has her elder son Kartik on her right while baby Ganesha is saddled on her left hip – and, hold your breath – he is detachable! A beautiful lotus, the handle of which when turned, opens out the petals to reveal a small Ganesha inside. This is made of Panchaloha an alloy of 5 metals. A favourite of most children is the Pied Piper Ganesha with many mice following him. One can be sure though that this piper could bring no harm to these rodents as they double up as his mode of transport.

Then there is a Ganesha on an elephant with a mahout in tow and in the forms of Dasha Avataara the 10 incarnations of Vishnu. The very popular set of Ganeshas playing the various musical instruments is also seen. The materials that the idols are made of vary from coconut-shell, sandstone, ivory and different kinds of wood. Two crystal pieces – one in a bell and the other in a cube from Thailand with the word ‘Ganesha’ inscribed in Thai, flaunt this most favoured and popular God.
Some time ago, Mr. Prakash came to know of the many Ganesha idols that were found in different parts of the world; namely Rome, Cambodia, Diyang, Jawa, Persia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, China, Turkey and Vietnam (as a guard). He got an artist to paint all these and the ones found in the museums of London and Boston. The one from Japan has two Ganeshas hugging each other – sans their crowns and accessories. He got them carved on a wooden tablet too. A unique form of Ganesha found in Bihar, with a woman’s body and lion’s tail is also found here. Besides all these there are Batik paintings of this remover of obstacles and his figure engraved on an ornate brass padlock and antique comb as well.

Mr. Prakash is helped in maintaining his collection by his wife Chaya and the staff of his office. His daughters – 15 year old Niharika and 10 year old Anagha, chip in to do their bit by showing people around and providing information and interesting details about the idols displayed here. The family’s favourite is a tiny Ganesha from Tamil Nadu, made from the Yekka plant, the leaves and flowers of which are considered as auspicious offerings on Ganesh Chaturti.

Besides Tuesdays – the day on which it is open for general public between 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, people are welcome to see this wonderful collection from 21st evening to 26th August during this festive season. The timings are 8:30 am to 12 noon and 4:30 to 8:30 pm. Ganesha Prapancha is located at ‘Sri Swananda’ (this is the name of their house and it incidentally means reclining Ganesha), #1106, 8th Cross, BSK 1st Stage, 2nd Block, (Near Hanumanthnagar Police Station), Ashok Nagar, Bangalore-560050. Call 26605804 or 9448543575 for details.

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