Each of these ganeshas are destined to have a life of their own, in street corners in Bombay and elsewhere that are preparing themselves to celebrate the arrival of the elephant god - the megastar of the ganesha festival.
These are not the most ideal conditions for the artisans to work in and yet the work goes on. Can tourism not bring in the funds that can also upgrade working environments within the ganapati karkhanas?
There was natural light falling on the quiet ganesha in waiting. The men who were skilled with their hands and had made these gorgeous idols from ordinary clay were men to be admired.
A ganesha tour could indeed be a beautiful experience for many of us. It could be a one-day trip that would begin with the ganesh darshan at the karkhanas, then, a walk down few of the streets in Pen, to know the still prevalent vernacular architecture of the konkan region, a lunch and then, some looking around in the local bazaar and interacting with the local people.
A vernacular house could be identified for lease to be managed by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation or as a Private sector enterprise in the vicinity of Shivaji Chowk, similar to the heritage houses developed by Pondicherry tourism as boutiques, restaurants & coffee shops.
A traditional street that could be developed as part of the walking tour in Pen in addition to the visits to the Ganapati Kharkhanas.
Infrastructure such as roads, water supply and drainage systems may need upgradation if a floating tourist population is expected. The tourist facilities that could be provided here are:
- Restaurant with local cuisine
- Tea shop that is clean and with a ganesha storyline for the theme
- Rest rooms/Toilets
- Ganapati Souvenir shop
- Ganesha Museum
There are an increasing number of craft tours and textile tours that allow us to explore the world of the artisans in India. "One day in the life of a silent Ganesha" could be one such fulfilling experience for the discerning tourist.
One of the karkhanas visited was the : Wadke Bandhu Kala Mandir, Kasar Ali, Pen - Raigad. ph: 02143- 254237 & 93707-17877