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10,000 drawings of Lord Ganesha in one month, Artist Manilal makes world record

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Thiruvananthapuram: Renowned artist Manilal Sabarimala, who wielded his micro pen and brush to produce a spectacular range of drawings of Lord Ganesha on a canvas, has created a world record for his artistic exploration of the popular deity in various forms and manifestations.

The Universal Record Forum (URF) recognised Manilal’s work as the first of its kind—10,000 drawings of Lord Ganesha using micropens on a 20×5-foot canvas, which he completed in a month.

The world record was officially recognised today at a function at the Press Club in Thiruvananthapuram, where representatives from the URF were present.

In 2008, Manilal accomplished another record by completing 4,500 acrylic paintings of Ganapathy on a single canvas.

The 60-year-old artist dedicated 7 to 8 hours every day from June 27 to July 25 to complete his dream work—10,000 drawings of Lord Ganesha—wwhich brought him the prestigious URF record.

A native of Ranni, Perunad, in Pathanamthitta district, he graduated in botany and followed up with a B.Ed. degree. He worked as a teacher in the Royal Government of Bhutan until 1999 before finding his niche as a full-fledged artist.

After developing a keen interest in drawing, Manilal focused more on concept-based creation than the conventional pattern of realistic painting. Thus, his first painting was on the concept of Lord Ganesha, the deity who, according to belief and religious traditions, removes obstacles.

“Lord Ganesha is the ultimate power that spreads positive energy. So, I indulged in recreating different forms of the deity through my paintings. I have tried to illustrate a new version of the deity through a psychological and philosophical re-reading of the concept of Ganesha,” said the artist.

A few exhibitions of his Ganesha paintings helped Manilal gain confidence as an artist. His first exhibition was held at the Srishti Art Gallery in Hyderabad. Later, for three consecutive years, he held exhibitions at the Ashok Hotel in New Delhi.

Through these exhibitions, his unique interpretations of the deity grabbed worldwide attention. This prompted him to do more research on the concept of Lord Ganesha. His findings, blended with innovative ideas, were conveyed through symbolic paintings rather than merely sticking to conventional concepts.

This also helped him build a strong and constructive relationship with foreign artists, research scholars, and eminent professors from across the world, resulting in universal acceptance of his works.

In order to ensure a strong foundation for his artistic pursuits, Manilal completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees from Mysore University and his Diploma in Multimedia from Hyderabad. Back in Kerala, he also took a diploma in hypnotherapy from the University of California.

Manilal has launched an open gallery, the Anokhii Art Foundation, which helps organise painting exhibitions by artists from India and abroad. His wife, Dr. Ramani S. D., who is Principal of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Payyanur (Kannur), and his Bengaluru-based daughter, Kanchana, have immensely supported him in fulfilling his artistic pursuits.

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