With festival season upon us, Indian demand for silver is showing up in all corners of the globe...
THE SCRAMBLE for silver appears to have gone beyond India's shores, writes MineWeb's Shivom Seth in Mumbai.
Indians now residing in the United States, in London, in the United Arab Emirates, in Kuala Lumpur and in Malaysia are leaving no stone unturned in their quest to get the best silver ornaments and filigree work out of India for their festivities.
For Indian residents in Flushing, New York, the month of August was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to receive divine blessings at the Mahavallabla Ganapati temple, which has recently undergone a massive $5 million expansion and renovation drive.
This year has been termed a special year for the temple, since the celebrations featured a new chariot, all done up in shining silver. Brought in various parts from India, the silver chariot was assembled by specially trained people who had been flown in from India to put the whole thing together.
Intricately carved and made of stone, the Flushing Ganesh Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in North America and, in the last 35 years, has increasingly attracted devotees from different parts of the US.
On September 4, 2011, a grand procession was taken through the streets of Flushing with the silver chariot the main attraction. UmaMysorekar, the temple's president was quoted as saying an open invitation was extended to all. ``It is a great sense of enjoyment and it brings a sense of joy for the human race. You can come and witness and enjoy everything,'' she told news agencies.
Special prayers are also performed to the gold and silver idols bedecked in precious stones that are placed at the bases of the various deities in the temple.
Similarly, the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, the oldest and richest temple in Kuala Lumpur, has also had its most outstanding feature done up in silver this year. The 5-tiered gopuram (tower), which is the tallest structure in the temple, has received a new layer of intricately carved silver, which was brought all the way from India.
A silver chariot that is housed within the premises is a prominent feature during the annual Thaipusam festival in the country. It is made using 350 kilograms of silver, all made up in India and shipped there in 12 different parts to be assembled at the temple.
The chariot is 6.5 meters tall and has 240 silver bells and a pair of horses on it. This year, Indian craftsmen have been responsible for adding to the silver dome.
In London, the Sakthy Ganapati Temple in Thornton Heath, Croydon, London has a new arrangement of silver flowers adorning the Lord, specially flown down from India.
Reports also indicate that 236 kilograms of silver adorn the idol in Bur Dubai in Dubai and thousands of Indian expatriates celebrated the festival there with much gusto.
Traders also said jewelers from Bangkok regularly come to Kathmandu and to Malaysia to buy wholesale silver with Indian-processed semiprecious gemstones. Though gold has shown all the signs of scaling new peaks, traders insist silver is set to outperform the yellow metal this year, thanks to the throng of Indian devotees across the globe who can't have enough of the white metal.
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