Is it okay to have an eco-friendly Ganesha idol at home at this Ganesha Chaturthi? My mom says, as per Hindu parampara kumbhar (potters) and carpenters make the idols and we shouldn't make it.

Also, Potters and carpenters said to me that they don't make eco-friendly Ganesha as it is not the tradition!

Are there any such traditions?

  • 6
    As far as I know, the tradition is to make the idols from mud, which is probably the most eco-friendly.
    – user23407
    Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 7:07
  • 5
    Yes zero is correct traditionally they used to make idols from mud. Natural and traditional materials (not POP) do not harm the environment. If you take mud from the sea, colour with Natural colours (as was the custom) and immerse it back from the very sea you took the mud, it’s okay. Potters use mud to make pots. Don’t ask them about eco friendly they won’t understand fancy terms. Ask them without chemicals with mud and natural (non-chemical) colours. Else just get the idol without colours
    – Adiyarkku
    Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 9:49
  • As children we used to often make these and do puja. I doubt what is wrong with this? Has nothing to do with caste in my opinion (pls don't think such things). However, a visit to a local potter or taking a tutorial would certainly help you make a nice one yourself.
    – sbharti
    Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 19:00
  • What is eco-friendly? What you consider eco friendly may not be by someone else and vice versa. Commented Jul 28, 2021 at 12:33

1 Answer 1


In the Uddhava Gita (Swami Madhavananda translator), Sri Krishna says (Chapter 22):

  1. Images are of eight kinds--those made of stone, wood, gold, clay, sand, and jewels, as well as painted and mental ones. [translator's note: mental ones--When the worship is performed in one's heart]

  2. Images which are the temples of God, are divided into two other classes--movable and immovable. In worshiping through the immovable ones, O Uddhava, there is neither the ceremony of invocation nor that of valediction. [translator's note: Neither etc. -- Because at the time of installation the deity is invoked to reside permanently in them.]

  3. With regard to the movable images there is an option about this, but in case of the sacrificial ground etc., they are compulsory. Bathing is performed with all except the clay ones etc. In other cases, only wipng is done. [translator's note: Option etc. -- according to the particular case; e.g. they should be omitted in the case of a Shalagrama, and performed in the case of a sandy image. As regards other kinds of movable images they are optional. Clay ones etc.-- implying paintings; these two excpetions require 'wiping'.]

There are many local customs and traditions which are exactly that - local customs and traditions. And are not necessarily reflective of the complete picture.

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