Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Oct.23 (ANI): Irrespective of the competition posed by the Chinese electric lights, the traditional clay lamp makers of Visakhapatnam ,Andhra Pradesh, are doing brisk business ahead of Diwali.
On the occasion of Diwali, people decorate their homes with lights, flowers, and earthen lamps. However in Visakhapatnam there seems to be more awareness towards the protection of environment and they look forward to light their homes with earthen diyas (lamps).
This time potters from Rajasthan flocked to the southern city as the demand for the Rajasthani earthen lamps is on the rise.
"For the last three months we were making it (clay items) in Rajasthan and we are here for the past one month," said Asha, a road side vendor.
Moreover, many corporate schools in the city had trained students in making 'diyas' by appointing a potter in their school premises and later distributed the diyas.
"The motto behind this is eco-friendship which is based totally on environment. Nowadays you can hardly see any of us buy the man made diyas (lamps) and we are going and buying these plastic diyas which are harmful and totally against the environment," said Santhi, a schoolteacher.
It was a delight for the children to watch the potter turn the wheel to make the 'diyas' (earthen lamps).
Across the state dozens of diyas designed in the moulds of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi had become immensely popular. Here the Rajasthani families gave a new dimension to clay and turned them into a decorative and artistic pieces.
The potters displayed exemplary artistic skills as they made innovative pieces from clay like a hand holding the lamp, a woman carrying diyas, or an elephant with a bulk of diyas on its back.
The terracotta pots from Rajasthan have a contemporary look. As the festival nears, the families sit throughout the day adding embellishments to the serried rows of terracotta diyas in myriad shapes.
It is customary for the Hindus in north and western India to buy new clothes, household items, sweets, decorative lights and firecrackers on this occasion.
Diwali, which falls on October 26 this year, is celebrated with great fervour and gaiety all over India as it marks the return of Hindu god Lord Ram to Ayodhya in northern India after he defeated Ravana, the powerful king of Lanka.
Legend says millions of lamps were lit when Lord Ram returned after 14 years of exile in forests and after he defeated Ravana.
Diwali is also celebrated in honour of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity. It is believed that Lakshmi, signifying prosperity, comes into those homes that are clean and well-lit.(ANI)