A Day in the Streets of Kolkata- Photography in Kumortuli

Tripoto
6th Sep 2018

Kolkata- the heart of Eastern India, the city of "Rasogolla" is a history in its own. A city standing tall from pre- British age to date with known and unknown facts. It always has so many things to offer- from politics to religion, from history to modern lifestyle, from cricket to soccer- you can never stop counting. But there is always a Kolkata in Kolkata. The Kolkata which we see everyday while going to office, while waiting for bus. The Kolkata which can only be seen in the streets. So I decided to see that inner- Kolkata with my camera.

Durga Puja is the biggest festival of Kolkata. People from all over the globe visits Kolkata during the festival to observe the decorations, the idols. Kumortuli is the backbone for the same. It is an industry on its own. It's a perfect example of how an artwork can be converted into an industry on it's own. There is no school or certification course to learn this, its people who teach and who learn are either by family tradition or with love. Not only hundreds of "Pal" (as we call the people who prepares the idols in Bengali) relentlessly work for almost a year to prepare the idols, there are other handicraft workers who are always busy in preparing the paper ornaments, the colors etc. With the end of one puja, they start working for the idols of next year.

It's not only the male or young people who are involved in this art work, ordinary housewives are also involved in the idol preparation. The idols prepared here are even sent to different parts of the world including US, Amsterdam, Dubai etc. Apart from idols, they prepare nice clay ornaments which are worth to collect.

For photography in Kumortuli, it's important to be disciplined. Any carelessness can not only damage the idol prepared by people in months of effort, but also can deprive people coming from distance to enjoy this beautiful work.

It is suggested not to take selfies from very close to the idols as it can cause disturbance to the workers while they are busy to complete their work on time.

Please respect the people- if someone is not ready to allow you to take photographs, please avoid taking snaps there.

Photo of A Day in the Streets of Kolkata- Photography in Kumortuli 1/4 by Arnab Sarkar
"Chakhhudan"- The most important part of preparing the idol- drawing the eyes
Photo of A Day in the Streets of Kolkata- Photography in Kumortuli 2/4 by Arnab Sarkar
Female artists
Photo of A Day in the Streets of Kolkata- Photography in Kumortuli 3/4 by Arnab Sarkar
Idols ready for Mandaps
Photo of A Day in the Streets of Kolkata- Photography in Kumortuli 4/4 by Arnab Sarkar
Taking idols to the mandaps
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