In the Eyes

In the Eyes

Lord Ganesha has definitely blessed this family of Murtikars. The Bolinjkar family has been sculpting Lord Ganesha for more than 5 decades now. Anant Babaji Bolinjkar started his sculpting workshop with his two younger brothers, Purshottam and Narayan. Shri D P Lohar, a degree holder from JJ school of Art, who was an extremely talented artist-sculptor, trained Anant Bolinjkar in sculpting Ganpati idols.

Today, Anant Bolinjkar is no more but his younger brothers Purshottam and Narayan, have continued the tradition of sculpting. While Purshottam sculpts the idols, Narayan takes care of the colors and their sons help them in their efforts.

The artistic sense of a Bolinjkar-made idol can be easily observed in the intricately crafted eyes and the vibrant colors used to enhance the beauty of Lord of Prosperity. Sujata Phadke, whose grandfather helped Anant Bolinjkar set up a workshop in Thane in the 1940’s, says, "In Bolinjkar’s idols, the eyes of Lord Ganesha reflect a serene beauty that only a divine entity can possess. The color schemes too are absolutely flawless. Their sculptures bring out the paramount importance of Lord Ganesha."

People love this workshop for its cleanliness and orderliness. The idols are sculpted in a very disciplined manner and every idol from the workshop retains the exact authentic look. The look has been preserved for decades. It is this perfection and consistency in each idol of a Bolinjkar Ganesha that makes them the most famous and loved murtikars in Thane.

Come Ganesh Chaturthi, and the Bolinjkar idols are in great demand. Besides supplying Ganesha sculptures to various pandals and families in the cities of Thane and Mumbai, Bolinjkars cater to orders from other parts of the country too: such as Rajastan and Assam, and even across the border from USA and UK. "These days, Ganpati celebrations are not restricted to Hindu families, even a few Sikhs are known to keep Ganpati in their homes", says Subhash Bolinjkar, son of Anant Bolinjkar.

Organisations such as Raymond (J K group) and Thane Municipal Corporation order their Ganpati idol from Bolinjkars every year. Even politicians like Sushil Kumar Shinde are known to be loyal to Bolinjkars.

Such loyalty is not without reason. The Bolinjkar Idols have won several awards in the past. The Shiv Sena presented them a trophy every year from 1991 to 1997, for the best-sculpted idol. They have been felicitated 3 times by Girnar Loksatta Ganpati Trust. Last year, the Thane Municipal Corporation presented them 2nd prize for best idol. The famous Siddhivinayak Temple Trust chose their idol as the best in 1998.

With many new sculpting workshops coming up in Thane, Bolinjkars have faced growing competition in the last few years. In spite of this development, they still sold the maximum number of idols this year – 4200 to be precise.

The Bolinjkar family itself is quite devoted to Lord Ganesha and celebrates the festival with a lot of vigor, every year. Now you know why Lord Ganesha ensures their prosperity, year after year!

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