Jamai Sasthi

Kumartuli Idol Makers

kumartuli durga puja

Kumartuli, the area of sculptors is a maze of narrow streets, where they live for two centuries with artisans from generation to generation dedicated to the production of religious idols, even huge, such as those for the festivities of Durga Puja, but also take it upon themselves for private and governmental committees. With a few rupees and a few hours of waiting, you could then return triumphantly home with your half-length, to be displayed in the garden.

The neighborhood of Kumartuli, on the northern outskirts of Calcutta, is a maze of narrow streets that is home to a particular community, that of Kumar, artisans specialize in making statues of Hindu deities. In the period preceding the most spectacular and the most impressive festival in Kolkata, Durga Puja, the neighborhood is bustling with activity.

The artisans of Kumartuli carry thousands of statues, straw and unbaked clay, of the goddess Durga and then paint in bright colors. The statues are then displayed throughout the city for the darshan worship. The climax of the festival comes after five days of worship the thousands of statues are carried in procession and then thrown into the river Hooghly between ablutions, chanting and cheering and indescribable chaos of traffic

Durga, the one that you can hardly approach, the Great Goddess, of which the other female deities of the local traditions are its manifestations. Durga was created to defeat Mahishasura, the buffalo-demon against which even Shiva and Vishnu could hope to win. As often happens in fact, Mahishasura obtained from Brahmā, by virtue of extraordinary ascetic practices, the grace not to be killed by any male, human or divine.

In the face of this threat the gods all gathered in a circle and, swollen with rage, enacted their energy in the form of rivers and expanses of flames. Their fires were fused together and took on the aspect of Durga, equipped with multiple arms, a symbol of his power, the embodiment of feminine creative energy Shakti.

The gods delivered into the hands of the Supreme Goddess their weapons, tools and ornaments containing their characteristics and their particular energies: Shiva's trident, Kāla, the god of time, a sword and a shield, Vishnu his disc and bright Himalaya, the god of the mountains as well as the father of Parvati, the tiger or lion depending iconography etc. Made it so powerful, Durga defeated the buffalo-demon often depicted in anthropomorphic form, form that took in an attempt to seduce the Goddess.


  1. beautiful idol! :O and revelation! never really heard about this place.. (from anyone) thanks for sharinG! =)


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