Virtual Ganesha museum at home

Virtual Ganesha museum at home

A man and his wife have nearly 10,500 idols and sketches of Ganesha among their collection

Virtual Ganesha museum at home

This house in Udaipur has at every possible spot an idol or an art work on the revered Ganesha. Each one is different from the other—either in size, mood or shape. It is a laborious work of nearly 24 years by a couple in Rajasthan. The two have done professionally well for themselves and also in collection of images and work on the elephant-headed god, who occupies an important position in the Hindu pan­theon.

Meet Lalita and her husband Ram N Kog­ata, who attend to their regular work and also pursue their passion with devotion. They hold the record for creating the largest collection of Lord Ganesha. The couple have the enviable record of having 10,500 forms of Lord Ganesha in their collection--all different in some way. They find their names in India Book of Records this year also.

Even the couple are surprised over the achievement that began as a hobby and soon became a passion and addiction—to collect more types of Ganesha. R N Kogata is a Chartered Accountant & Company Secretary by profession and is currently working as financial advisor to various large organisations while his wife, Lalita Kogata, who is a Company Secretary, is now a Director in the Udaipur Mahila Urban Co-operative Bank Limited.

Now they divide their time between profession  and collection of Ganesha idols or art work.

The couple say it happened by accident. When the two made a Ganesha idol for their home, it triggered interest in them. They studied extensively on Lord Ganesha and can lecture effortlessly on the god, whose celebrations are held in different parts of the country once a year. It all started with a curio­sity to know why sages foresaw obstacles in cosmic progress and invoked Lord Ganesha for removal of obstructions and to achieve success in any venture. The question was why only Ganesha out of thousands of gods of the Hindu pantheon? Again what is the significance of invoking Lord Ganesha before starting any sacred work or ceremony and why a thousand different names have been given to Ganesha in Vedas? This consuming curiosity in the mind inspired us to delve deep into all aspects of Lord Ganesha,” said Lalitha.

Their theme is “Ganesha Everywhere, Ganesha in Everybody, Everybody from Ganesha”. Starting this great journey, they first researched and tied up with good artistes who could give shape to their thoughts and designs. On their way, they faced many problems, including getting suitable artisans, finance, time and support from various people around them. They feel that Lord Ganesha has bestowed his blessings on them with an open heart and they have reached the present stage, where everyone wants to have a look at the work done by them. Their two sons Devashish, a chartered acco­untant, and Kushagra also helped them in this great work of art.

Devashish, who is also an artiste and has made more than 800 free hand pencil sketches of Ganesha, takes only 10 minutes to make a sketch of the idol.
The couple’s work includes both idols and paintings. Idols are made of all kinds of materials like gold, silver, sandalwood, silver on wood, marble, marble (white/green), granite, Turkey stone, and different colour stones from all parts of Rajasthan,
serpentine stone, precious/semi precious stones, crystal, bronze, brass, copper, wrought iron, glass, fibre glass, resin, terracotta, clay, wax and soft toy Ganesha and paintings comprise miniature paintings with gold work, modern, abstract, gem stone, scratch, nail, calligraphy, glass paintings, marble tile, marble plate, oil paintings, inlay, hatching and traditional/contemporary paintings with many wonderful series of paintings with turban of India, music Instruments, puranic myths, village culture, Hindu marriage, seasons, yoga, professions, sports, moods, mother, father, husband, wife, childhood, family and thousands of traditional and modern paintings. Besides, they have also created 16 kinds of Ganesha as per Vaastu Shastra.

Their USP is serial painting on a thousand different mythological names of Ganesha, most of which are not for sale. “To take Ganesha beyond an idol or a decorative item, we have brought research work into our creations,” said Kogatas. For example, they researched over 400 musical instruments and then painted the elephant god along with them. Similar treatment was given in series on turbans, moods, seasons, professions and villages.

Among various series of Ganesha paintings is an exclusive and unique series of 1,000 Ganesha paintings done with complete description. The series of miniature paintings, which took over 15 years, has been done using gold work and claimed to be only one of its kind.

Their work was appreciated by Maharana Shri Arvind Singh Mewar and West Zone Cultural Centre and the Rajasthan government where they have displayed their collection for more than six years for tourists. Their work has also been appreciated and honoured by many organisations, including Udaipur Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Udaipur Branch of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Bharat Vikas Parishad, Maheshwari Samaj, Muskan Club are some of them.

Their various milestones include entry in the “Limca Book of Records” from 2009.
Lalita Kogata has been honoured with “Bhaskar Woman of the year 2012” for Udaipur Zone. They have authored 15 books on various relationships, Indian marriage, poems and quotes have already been published by leading publishers of India and five more quote books are under publication.

Ram and Lalita Kogata, with their research work, have material to create an encyclopaedia on Lord Ganesha, which can depict anything and everything about the god at one place. As and when it is done, the work will be first of its kind. They are continuously working on new creations and wish to touch 15,000 mark and create a Ganesha museum as soon as possible.