Friday, September 23, 2005


Originally uploaded by dalbhat.
Durga is the goddess that creates a cultural frenzy in Kolkata during the month of October. She is brought to a community, worshipped for four days and then immersed in the river to show the impermanence of even things spirtual.

Kumartoli is an area in the north of the city close to Sova Bazaar where the clay images of Ma Durga are hand crafted. As you walk through the narrow alleyways you will see how the images are formed --- the basic structure is made with bundles of hay tied together. This is then covered with mud clay from the Ganges and then the images are painted and gorgeously decorated with sequinned headbands and flowimg gowns. It seems that each household in Kumartoli has a different role to play in bringing Durga to life.

Lighter images are made for easier export out of a pond tuber. At the first place we stopped, packing crates were being built to send compact Ma Durga and her entourage to pujas in Tokyo and Manchester.