Kumartuli Idol-makers

Thanks to Lonely Planet for bringing this to the surface. As a devout Bengali, having been in and out of Kolkata for 40 years have never been exposed to this unique attraction !

Countless effigies of deities are immersed in the holy Hooghly during Kolkata’s colourful pujas (offering or prayers). Most have been created in specialist kumar (sculptor) workshops in this enthralling district, notably along Banamali Sakar St, the lane running west from 499 Rabindra Sarani. Craftsmen are busiest from August to October, creating straw frames, adding clay coatings and painting the divine features for the Durga and Kali festivals. In November, old figures wash up on river banks and are refurbished.

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