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I still recall a juvenile myself speculating at the carefully concentrated workings of the artisans moulding out a benevolent goddess from a bunch of unshaped straws over a month-long duration. Succumbing to my childish imaginations then, the clay effigies of the Devi vanquishing the Asura formed imageries well before the Mahalaya (the first day of the homecoming of the goddess) even commenced. Taken by my explicit inquisitiveness, my parents often pushed me to interact with the Pratima-shilpi (artist) moulding the figurines. And surprisingly they answered all my queries and told stories too.


Well that was a child me back then. Now I am the amateur photographer strolling through the streets of Kumartoli, the place bearing the DNA of the state-of-the-art craftsmanship of the making of Devi Durga. Two months from the biggest festival of Bengal, this place becomes the pinnacle of art. The connoisseurs of moulding become busy with their carving out of a lively human-form from the clay and the photographers become busy clicking them. There is no better way of experiencing Kumartoli than by an eased stroll through the narrow lanes of the aficionados’ lair.



  

You will often wonder at the masterpieces being made so proficiently at so less a space. You will even run into varieties of intricacies- be it the huge Ganesh idol figure or the small tiny figures. A cup or two will suffice for your craving for tea in between your photographing the miniature figurines or sharing a laugh over the impromptu talks with the artistes.  





And you will be traversing back in time to your childhood days praying with your hands held together and closed eyes even when the idols were being shaped; coming back to the reality only to yearn for the five day long staycation.




33 comments:

  1. I am an art lover and I really loved your post... thanks for sharing!

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  2. Very interesting, this is a fascinating exploration of artwork! Your photos really bring it to life. Great work :)

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  3. This is so lovely, it is amazing to see the way art emerges!

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  4. These pieces are amazing! What craftmanship!

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  5. I have actually heard about this place and this tradition before. I remember seeing it in a documentary. I always thought that those carved statues were amazing, there is so much work put into each detail.

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  6. What an amazing post showcasing the finest artwork! Loved it!

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  7. So much beuty!! The pictures are just perfect!! Great work.

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  8. Wow! These are as impeccable as some of the temples. How beautiful!

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  9. Wow these are so beautiful! These take a lot of time and concentration they all so much detail involved.

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  10. Ah these are wonderful! Such amazing pieces of art - your photos really bring them to life

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  11. wow! this art sure is something! Absolutely loving the sculptures, so colorful

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  12. Durga Puja is the biggest festival for the bengalis. These Pratimas are just the start.

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  13. wow! These pictures are spectacular! What an intricate art form. I have a number of ganesh figures but none as beautiful as these/

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  14. These pieces of art are truly amazing. So detailed and beautiful

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  15. What a beautiful glimpse into this artwork and your connection to it! I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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  16. Wow, these truly are pieces of art! The time and concentration that must go into all of these is astounding.

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  17. Such intricate art! Seeing them in person must have quite an experience.

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  18. Beautiful place! Gonna visit there someday! Cheers

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  19. What beautiful and intricate carvings. It must have been wonderful to watch the artists at work.

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  20. Wow I love all about it, The colors are amazing. They are very pleasing to my eyes. Hope I can get there someday.

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  21. This is so wild, what a time you've had! These photos are awesome and the colors are so crazy.

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  22. Oh I bet it was a lot of fun to take photos of this artwork! I love how brightly colored some of them are!

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  23. This art is downright mystical. What an enchanting time you must have had.

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  24. The statues and coloring on some of them are absolutely beautiful here! I love all of the bright colors and the incredible detail in the lion. These are amazing, thanks for sharing!

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  25. It is so wonderful to see the behind the scenes and the craftsmanship that went into this amazing artwork. Beautiful pics!

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  26. I've heard so much about this place and tradition and I always wanted to go here. Will be saving our next trip here.

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  27. Wow, these are beautiful! I love art a lot but I admit I can't do this but want to know how the craftsman made it.

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  28. This is such unique art! I can't imagine this being my job. Looks like you have a great visit with lots of colorful things to explore.

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  29. I have never been there but definitely added this on my bucket list and hope to explore and know their traditions.

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  30. Wow, those sculptures are amazing. Impressed they do it in such a tiny space, too!

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  31. Those sculptures look incredible. I can sense so much amazing culture and history here too.

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  32. Definitely the biggest festival of Bengal becomes the pinnacle of art. I always wanted to travel to Bengal during the festival days to see the big sculptures and art. Loved the pictures.

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  33. It's also incredible that you were able to rise from asking questions about the art to the artists as a child to now being able to photograph everything!

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