Hyderabad: The process of procuring Ganesh idols is quite elaborate, especially for youngsters who save every penny possible for the D-day. This once-in-a-year activity however is a lifelong passion for Pabsetti Shekhar, who has built a unique collection of close to 20,000 Ganesh idols at one place.
For over four decades, Shekhar has devoted his life towards collecting Ganesh idols from across the globe. Rows and rows of Ganesh idols of various shapes, sizes, colours, forms and made up of myriad materials occupy every inch of his home at Marredpally. The stunning collection did not happen overnight, as he had to set-aside considerable amount of resources and time to pursue his passion.
“This year, I got a new collection of Lord Ganesha idols from Chattisgarh. I have Ganesh idols from across the world and my journey in creating this huge collection has been quite fruitful,” he declares, with a look of satisfaction. An employee from a public-sector bank, Shekhar has also converted part of his home into a museum that houses the Ganesh idols. A one-time visit to his museum is not enough, as one is sure to get surprised and overwhelmed by the sheer size of the idol collections.
Every time a person visits the collection, it’s guaranteed that they will stumble upon something new and unique. The collection has 32 different forms of Ganesh statues right from Bala Ganapati to Sankatahara Ganapati and also Shub Dristi Ganesh, the 33rd form of Ganesh, in addition to 12 Raasi Ganapati.
Even the material used to make the idols are diverse including gold, silver, bronze, brass, aluminium, precious stones, terracotta, crystal, glass, bi-metal, bettlenut, Ivory, coral, granite, soap stone, marble, black stone, tiger stone, sand stone, plaster of Paris etc. Whenever Shekhar visits a new country or a state, he makes it a point to explore the local markets for Ganesh idols.
“I have collected idols from US, Japan, China, Afghanistan, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bali islands, Germany, South Africa, Kenya, Korea, Java, Borneo islands, Tibet, Cambodia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Siam, Mangolia, Belgium, Turkey, Iran, Bangkok, UK,” he says.
It’s not just Ganesh idols, Shekhar also has close to 20,462 photographs which includes 7,853 postcards, 1,098 posters, 195 books, 200 key chains and close to 201 video and audio on Ganesh. “The entire collection is the result of a lifetime of effort and devotion to Lord Ganesh,” he says.