Exploring Patuapara – Kumortuli

Kolkatans do keep an emotional sense of their belongings. Many artefacts in Kolkata do help us to preserve our unique identity.

Kumortuli is one such unique example, an abode of idol makers located at SovaBazar in North Kolkata. It is traditionally a potter’s hub for more than three centuries. By virtue of their artistic productions these potters have moved from obscurity to prominence.

They are an independent international brand of Durga-Image makers. Kumortuli continues to remain an exclusive exporter of the idols of the goddess to different nooks and corners of the globe during Durga Puja to more than 90 countries.

About 450 studios in Kumortuli serve as both workplace and home. The potters who make these images are called ‘kumars’ and they often have the surname Pal or Paul.

This abode of idol makers not only supplies clay idol of Hindu God and Goddesses to Barowari Pujas in and around Kolkata, but also a number of idols are also exported carousing seven oceans.

Get to Know Kumortuli at a Glance

kumortuli-at-a-glanceImage Source – Krisnendu Sar

Location of workshops: Mostly located around Banamali Sarkar Street where languish air melts into a buzz of activity.

Typical Kumortuli Idol: The idol is made of bamboo and hay — the bamboo serving as the skeleton and hay the flesh.

Product Used: A skin of Entel Maati, a sticky variety of clay procured from the bed of the Hooghly.

Time Taken: Takes three weeks to transform into a strong clay and hay structure.

Kumar Parar Katha

kumor-para-kothaImage Source – Dibyendu Seal

Asiatic Society of Calcutta estimates that first formal “puja” of Durga was held around 1606 A.D. At present Baghbazar area in Kolkata by a zamindar Pran Krishna Halder. Four years later, Kumortuli’s “Kumars” started making the idols of “Maa” (mother goddess) Durga in clay for the neo-rich feudal lord Laxmikanta Roy Mazumder, who is the first patron of Kolkata’s potter’s town and initiator of “puja” of Durga in clay idols.

Idols Made


All types of clay idols like Saraswati, Laxmi, Ganesh, Kartick, Kali, Viswakarma, Durga etc. Among this Durga idols are most famous and is estimated that 15000 idols are made every year and still increasing.

Future Plans

The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) will implement the project JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission), 35 percent of its cost being borne by the central government, 15 percent by the state government, and the remaining 50 percent being arranged through loans.

KMDA will construct houses for artisans over five acres of land at Kumortuli on the ground-plus-three-floors pattern. It will also build an art gallery for artisans to display their creations.

A Glimpse of My Views

my-viewsImage Source – Mithun Basak

A visit to Kumortuli exhibits the curious faces and inquisitive whispers of foreign tourists as they make a beeline for the area. With Durga idols becoming increasingly popular across the globe, a visit to the Victoria Memorial and a view of the Howrah Bridge are not the only attractions for foreigners in Kolkata. Tourists from different countries — America, Australia, China, Canada, Japan and England — are eager to look around and observe idols immersed in the river turns to river clay in no time, and the same clay is brought to create idols each year.

The cycle of Creation never stops and renews itself; it transforms itself into a new form. My research will cultivate this rich culture of Kolkata to make it a little more popular to my readers.

Puja Parikrama 2012 Successfully Accomplished

In our last post, we, About Kolkata Team, through our official website www.aboutkolkata.com, committed to cover maximum puja pandals of Kolkata city. We are glad to inform you all that we have successfully accomplished the task of Puja Parikrama 2012. The team has covered more than hundred puja pandals. The photos and videos of the different puja pandals are uploaded in our official website. During our visit to puja pandals, we have experienced a warm welcome by different puja committees. Their kind cooperation and enthusiasm in providing us information about their puja pandals, motivated us a lot and made our task easy.

The Parikrama began on Sasthi and continued upto Navami. During these period, beside taking photos and collecting informations, uploading of the same is parallely done. The uploading was finished on Ekadashi ( the day after Dashmi) and subsequently made it accessible to the visitors.

During our Parikrama, we have also covered those puja pandals which are not so well known but this year, their outstanding pandals and excellent themes have made them, in no way, less than the popular puja pandals. Mention should be made about Mahatirtham Citizen Forum, Hussainpur Kishore Sanga, No: 2 Adi Barwari Puja, Chetla Agrani etc.

Some of the puja pandals prohibited taking snaps of their pandals and idols on ground of their personal circumstances. So, we could not add photos of those puja pandals in our gallery.

About Kolkata Team is immensely grateful and thankful to all Durga Puja Committees for extending their cooperation and helps during our visits. The team is equally thankful to the visitors for appreciating our endeavor by contributing their shares, likes and comments every now and then.

Contribute your shares, likes and comments for the cultural revival of Kolkata.

Durga Puja Parikrama Presented by About Kolkata Team

The city of Kolkata is presently plunged into the atmosphere of Durga puja. The fragrance of seuli phool can be felt everywhere. Chandi path has been started since Mahalaya. Mahalaya represents the beginning of devi paksha and end of pitri paksha. In some places, this festival is celebrated as Navaratri. Maa durga is the destroyer of Mahishasura — the buffalo headed demon. Puja start from Sasthi, the sixth day from Mahalaya. Bodhon, Amontron and Adibas are the important rituals of Sasthi. Saptami comes from the day after Sasthi, predawn bathing of ‘Kola Bou’ and Mahasnan are part of this day. The day after Saptami, Ashtami will come. Devotees recite the mantras and offer flowers to Devi Durga for pushpanjali and pray for her blessings. The main Ashtami puja and the Sandhi Puja are performed. After the Sandhi puja starts the Nabami Puja. The main Nabami puja take place on this propitious day. The festival ends on Vijayadashmi which marks the end of evils and emergence of goodness and bliss. Astrologically also this day is considered auspicious to undertake any new venture.

We, About Kolkata Team, wish all our visitors a happy Durga puja. May goddess Durga bless you all with divine power and virtuous qualities and removes the ignorance and darkness and grants the higher knowledge of self.

aboutKolkata.com has been constantly providing information about various things of Kolkata without any charge since its inception in 2010 and will continue to provide you with updated information in future as well.

About Kolkata Team is proudly announced that this year we organize Durga Puja Parikrama 2012. Our team representative will visit almost all puja pandals of Kolkata with their website printed T- shirt, identity card and cameras. We, thus, cordially invite all puja committees to share their thoughts and ideas with us about their puja pandals. It has been noticed that owing to huge crowd and long quest, people cannot see the well known puja pandals of Kolkata. As such, the team About Kolkata promises all our visitors that this year, we shall present you with photos and videos of puja pandals and idols with their corresponding information so that you can enjoy the festival through internet, sitting at home.

About Kolkata Team seeks your kind cooperation during the visit.

Durga Puja – The Greatest Festival of Kolkata

Kolkata, the city of joy, is considered to be a land of festivals. No matter how big or small a festival is, it is celebrated with great enthusiasm. Among many festivals, Durga Puja is the greatest one. The greatness is, because of large scale celebration throughout the city. Huge number of puja pandals comes up to greet Maa Durga.

The Festival falls in the month of October in general. However, the excitement and preparation begins two or three month before its commencement. The city streets and markets are flooded with crowd with major concentration on big malls. Big Bazar, Metro shopping mall, South City Shopping mall, City Center, Axis mall, Vardan Market, Sreeram Arcade, S S Hog Market are among worth mentioning. During the four days celebration, the city dazzles with decorative pandals and illuminative lightings. People from all walk of life, enjoy the festivals irrespective of their caste, creed and community.

The center of attraction is the food stall. Substantial number of food stalls is set nearby puja pandals. In some places, based on puja, fairs are organized to enhance the enjoyment. Now a days, it has been seen that theme based pandals are more in demand. Each and every puja committee tries to prove their credibility and creativity and come up with different and more unique pandals. A healthy competition grows among these pandals. In Kolkata, such competition can be seen among the pandals of southern and northern part. The best one, from all perspective, is awarded with prize. The winner pandals pull huge crowd. Beside Sarbojonin puja, Barwari puja has its own importance. They are well known for their rites and rituals which they have been following for a long time. In the evening, the family members organize cultural programmes.

Maa Durga stays for four days from saptami to dushami, however, the enthusiasm remain continues even after the puja is over. Such has the impact of this festival on the people of Kolkata city.

  • by Sujit Sharma