Friday, September 23, 2011

Durga Puja Kolkata

Durga Idol North Kolkata
Here are some more snaps of Durga idols and pandals that I had clicked way back in 2009.

With Mahalaya just a  few days away, Puja fever is at its peak in Kolkata.

Work on the Ceiling of the
Durga pandal

Durga Idol

Durga Idol in Bhwanipur
Work on the walls of
the pandal

Durga Pandal in North Kolkata
Close up of the

Durga puja at a beautiful old house in Bhawanipur Kolkata
Durga puja at another
house in Bhawanipur

Here are links to the earlier Durga puja photos -

Durga Puja 2008
Durga Puja 2009
Durga puja 2010
Durga puja 2010-II

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bishnupur, the terracotta temple destination, West Bengal India

Intricate work on the walls of terracotta
temple Bishnupur
I have been meaning to post some more pictures from our Bishnupur trip. The beauty of the temples cannot be covered in one post only. Especially the exquisite intricate work all over the walls of the temples.

Jor Bangla temple Bishnupur
Jor Bangla temple

Jor Bangla  temple has depictions of Krishnalila, hunting and a other social scenes.The work is out of the world! The terracotta temples of Bishnupur are truly are worth at least one visit.

Dalmadal Canon Bishnupur

Playing cards

The Dalmadal canon is perhaps the largest canon manfactured at the time of the Malla kings.

The image  next to the canon is of e special playing cards that are hand painted in Bishnupur. There is only one family in Bishnupur who make these playing cards. These are really unique. They cards depict  the ten avatars of lord Vishnu and are round in shape.

Rasmancha Bishnupur West bengal

Rasmancha arches

Rasmancha is quite unique. Built by Bir Hambir in 1600 AD, the temple has a pyramidal structure and this lends it quite a mystical character.The arches are beuatiful and they have lotus motifs on them.I believe, during the Malla rule, idols from the temples all around Bishnupur were displayed in this temple during the Ras festival.

Another beautiful terracotta temple in Bishnupur  is the temple of Shyamrai that was built by Raghunath Singh in 1643.

Temple of Shyamrai Bishnupur

Here is a link to my earlier post on Bishnupur terracotta temples.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

kumartuli a unique abode for idol makers of Kolkata

Kumartuli Artists workshop
With Durga puja just another three weeks away, I wanted to visit Kumartuli which is the idol maker hub of Kolkata. Located in Shovabazar, North Kolkata, Kumartuli is home to many talented artists who make the beautiful durga idols.

Last weekend we went to Kumartuli and we were amazed at the beautiful idols created by these talented idol makers. What is amazing is that they have still have kept a lot of old traditions alive. The idol makers still use water from Hoogly to mix the clay and make the models. It is not the easiest things to do since the have to hire water carriers, but most of the artists still folow this tradition.

Kumartuli streets are narrow and there are lanes and bylanes and that is what lends Kumartuli a character.It not not a typical studio where potters do their clay modeling, these streets are as old as Kolkata and is a historic place. I am posting a few photos of goddess durga, there was also a very interesting and beautiful old building, no one lives theres, must have been grand at some point. We walked through two three lanes and then headed straight for Hoogly. It was a nice and peaceful evening.

Kumartuli Durga

Kumartuli durga idols

Old building in Kumartuli Kolkata
Hooghly river

Goddess Durga

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Durga Puja, 2011; the time for festivities begin!

With Durga puja just about a month away it is festive time in Kolkata.

It is time of the year when everyone gets into a festive mode. The shops are offering the best discounts of the season. Every market wears a busy but festive, and happy look. The markets in Kolkata remain open 24X7 to meet the shopping demands during this season! There is a lot of gifting that happens during this time. Almost everyone acquires a new outfit.The atmosphere is unique. Everyone is charged up and happy. I guess it is mostly because there is so much of positive energy all around during durgapujas.

Even though the already crowded streets of Kolkata will get  more and more crowded during durga pujas; going from one place to another will become a real big deal (because you will get stuck in traffic jams! ) , In spite of all of these inconveniences, I continue to love durga pujas at Kolkata ; there is something about it!

As always, I look forward to pandal hopping. The durga idols and the puja pandals are really amazingly creative and beautiful. These beautiful innovative pandals never ever cease to amaze me.

Here is a recap of the 2010 durga idols and durga puja pandals.