A potter is making the Ma Durga idol  at kumortuli.

Kumortuli Kolkata - Durga Idol Making Process

'Kumortuli' is the place where the idols are made and sent to various pandals of Kolkata. They also create idols for Durga Pujas organized outside Kolkata. Since my childhood days, I was inquisitive about Kumortuli. It started when I first came to know that it is the world’s biggest market of idols. Most importantly, “Durga Puja” is the actual celebration of life. It is considered to be the true experience of colours and traditions in Kolkata. Kumortuli is situated on the northern side of Kolkata and it is, indeed, one of seven wonders of Kolkata. Above all, I always wanted to witness the intricate beauty of the process of idol making.

The Life of Potters-Kumortuli

Moreover, this is the actual place of the potters. "Potters locality” is its other name. The meaning of the word “ Kumortuli” too comes with a twist. Potter means Kumor’s and Tuli means locality. Firstly, It is the biggest hub of the potters where they reside with their family members. Secondly, “Kumortuli” was recognized as the potters' locality approximately 300 years ago. Astonishingly there are over 150 families who are involved in this trade. The artistic skills of idol making are passed on from one generation to another. Lastly, meanwhile I visited Kumortuli, I met one lady who told me regarding the working trends in the locality. She also mentioned some of the names of her clients. In short, they work for 12 months and idol making is the only way of their earning.

In addition, I was amazed to see the various sizes of idols which consisted of small, medium and large. There was an alluring beautification in the congested lanes of Kumortuli. I was also astonished to see the different kinds of idols being made in all the workshops of potters. I would like to share one amazing thing I witnessed there. There were almost more than fifty clay goddesses of small sizes whose eye parts were left incomplete. Later I got to know that the reason behind it was to wait for the actual time of “Chokkhu Daan”. Furthermore, I was informed by a lady potter that "Chokkhu Daan" is only done on the auspicious event of Mahalaya. It is the beginning of Durga Puja. As a result, it is believed to be the emergence of Goddess Durga on Earth.

Moreover, I noticed a strange fact there as well which is being seen in other sectors of our usual lives; the locality is men-centric and 90% of the potters are male members. Furthermore, I could only spot one woman in the locality who was totally involved in the idol-making process. In short, I understood that they don't allow women to participate in the opportune and promising activity of idol making.

“The best time to visit Kumortuli”

In fact, the foremost and prime time to visit Kumortuli is between August to February. Moreover, people from all corners visit Kumortuli to witness the utmost beauty of the procedure of idol creation. Therefore, this is to say that this place is a must-visit for all of us. You get to see the ultimate sculpture of the potters which they use in idol creation. It is worth watching. Finally, I found one interesting fact about this place. There is a small counter for booking tickets connected with the use of the camera. The charge is only Rupees Fifty per camera and you can use it for another year. The best way to reach is to take a metro to Sovabazar metro station. It is only 10 minutes walk from there. Do visit the place to see the ultimate beauty of idol creation there.

Author: Anindita Halder