Diwali brings a wave of cheer for potters in Ludhiana

October 20th, 2008 - 4:13 pm ICT by ANI  

By Karan Kapoor
Ludhiana, Oct. 20 (ANI) Diwali, the biggest festival of lights, is a day when all Hindu families celebrate the return of Lord Rama from 14-year exile to Ayodhaya, his kingdom, as mentioned in Ramayana. It is said people lit earthen lamps using Ghee, clarified butter.
Since ancient time, the devotees of Lord Rama lit earthen lamps, called Diyas in local parlance, and celebrate Diwali.
The tradition has been to light earthen lamps which is considered auspicious.
Every year around Diwali, the market is full of earthen lamps. Today, these commonly available Diyas are in high demand. Be it designer Diyas or the traditional earthen lamps, they are available in wide range and at attractive prices.
One can find them being sold on the roadside or being put of public display in art and craft boutiques around Diwali. As Diwali is just a few days away, dozens of potters at Ludhiana’’s Kumhar Mandi (potters market) are working tirelessly to meet the growing demand for Diyas. People buy it for decorative purposes on Diwali as well as to use them during the evening Puja of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha. Though candles, over the years, have also become a popular choice on Diwali, the charm of traditional Diyas has not affected. Potters are optimists that the Diyas hold their own distinct attraction and thus it is unlikely that they can ever be replaced by electrical lights. People may try out “new things”, but it is not likely that they will abandon clay lamps. Initially, there were 50 varieties of earthen lamps and plaster of paris made idols. We have developed the variety to over 150 now. We make statues of Goddess Laxmi and Lord Ganesha. They are in great demand, said one potter. Now, we work with machines to meet the growing demand. Initially, statues were made of clay, but now we are using plaster of Paris. With wide range of varieties the models are more durable, said another potter. With changing times, potters have also used innovation in designs, size and colours of earthen lamps and stautes of the God and Goddess. These mud-baked Diyas come at quite cheap prices. One can buy about a dozen Diyas within Rs.10 at many places. But there are many types of ornamental clay and terracotta lamps that cost up to two dollars per dozen. People in different parts of the India are developing a new liking for Diyas over the years, as the traditional item is available in new designs and can be used to decorate drawing rooms on festival time. (ANI)

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