[In Photos] Behind the Scenes of Durga Puja in Kumortuli: Where Man Creates God

Come hither, come running;

Here wafts the fragrance of Pujo,

Does the beating of drums fill your soul?

Shiuli flowers have ushered the meadows into life,

while wasps buzz away, synthesising joy in the air.

Today the clouds are dancing to the rhythm of the vibrant sky.

As the Bengali community around the world gears up for Durga Puja, we ask you what you think is the most indispensable aspect of Pujos. Is it the fancy new garbs or the themed pandals, the overwhelming crowd or five days of pure frolic? Well, let me rephrase the question. Without what is Pujo absolutely impossible? Yes, now you guessed it right – The idol-makers! TYS brings to you a sneak peak into ‘Behind the Scenes’ of the much celebrated festival in Kumortuli, Kolkata.

k15Image source: theindiantalks.com

Kumortuli is the traditional potter’s square in North Kolkata. It is here where generations of artists have mastered the art of creating God from earth. From July onwards every year, Kumortuli is abuzz with the frenzy of the upcoming Pujo.

k9Image source: flickr.com
k12Image source: worldnomads.com
k3Image source: flickr.com

Different Puja organising committees and mansion owners approach the potter of their choice to give Goddess Durga a physical form. On an average, four to five people directly work on each idol, whereas about 250 people, mostly residents of Kumortuli are indirectly involved in the process.

k11Image source: deccanchronicle.com

Making the idol is a long and tedious process. Layers of clay are applied to a skeleton structure of bamboo and straw, followed by coats of white, pink and yellow paint.

k1Image source: flickr.com

It is only then that the artist engages in the most creative part of the process- the detailing. Most intriguing of all is the painting of the third eye of the Goddess. The artisan sometimes has to sit in meditation for hours and then suddenly in one swift stroke of his paint brush, he creates magic.

k4Image source:flickriver.com
k13Image source: aboutkolkata.com
k5Image source: bongblogger.com
k14Image source: aboutkolkata.com
KumortuliImage source: flickr.com
k8Image source: blogspot.com

Can you see the elements of power and wrath looming heavily; can you feel the struggle against evil embodied in every detail of the idols? Kumortuli potters place at our disposal a unique melange of popular religion and breathtaking traditional art.

Feature Image Courtesy:ssghosal.com

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