Dussera In Odisha: Meet The Man Who Makes Ravana

08 October 2019

Snigdha Chandan Das

Bhubaneswar: Meet this man from Daspalla  in Odisha's Nayagarh district who takes pride in crafting effigies of Ravana-the ten-headed demon king of Lanka, a negative character, who was slayed by Lord Rama.

For Sanjit Mohapatra making Ravana effigies for 'Ravan Podi' is a family tradition-a specialization of his forefathers which he claims to be carrying foreword.

Talking to Ommcom News Sanjit said that he comes from an artisan family and has been in the trade of Ravana effigy making for over two decades.

A month or two before Dussehra, Sanjit is a much sought after person for making giant effigies of Ravana his sibling Kumbhakarna and son Meghnad for the Ravana Podi festival on the day of Dussehra.

He said his clientele are spread over across the State and even outside the State in places like Visakhapatnam.

As orders pour in, a month or two before Dusshera Sanjit is assisted by around 20 artisans to meet the commitments. His family too chips in to complete these 40 to 50 feet tall effigies.

This Daspalla effigy maker tells that effigy making is equally a specialized area much like idol making and involves intricate processes.

Giving details of the art of making giant effigies, Sanjit says:"A frame or skeleton is first prepared out of thin strips of bamboo. It is then covered with old saris and then paper is pasted. After that attire is painted".

"Very high level of skill is required to create the head of the effigy and intricately paint its eyes, mouth and nose," he added.

Basically a pattachitra artist, Sanjit says that though he sells these giant effigies for approximately Rs 50,000 a piece it’s not a lucrative business and survives by making pattachitra, other paintings and handicrafts for a living.