Delhi showcases a perfect blend of arts, heritage, fashion and travel. Being one of the oldest dwelling city in this world, the National Capital will never disappoint you whether you are exploring the historic architecture or chilling at a restaurant in Hauz Khas. Delhi is the home to so many communities, and this can be clearly seen especially during the festive season.
As the Monsoon season ends, it marks the beginning of Autumn or Sharad. With this, thousands of finest artisans from Kolkata’s Kumartuli (world’s famous idol making workshop) flocks to Delhi’s mini Bengal known as Chittaranjan Park (CR Park) for Durga Puja festivities.
These Bengal craftsmen stay in Delhi for 4-5 months during festive season and then returns to their respective hometowns or villages around Saraswati Puja. I visited Delhi’s version of Kumartuli situated at Kali Mandir in Chittaranjan Park. Here you will feel like you’re in Kolkata. It is recommended to visit this idol workshop before Sharadiya Navratri begins and see the magic how humans creates Maa Durga.
Dates for Durga Puja 2017: 26th September to 30th September
Clay For Crafting Idols
The Indian society considers red light area as the dirtiest or impure place. There are several red light districts in Delhi and other parts of India, which is considered as a dwelling place for a large number of sex workers (we also call them vaishyas). But do you know that the idol of Maa Durga, worshipped during Navratri, is incomplete without using the soil from these impure places?
The clay which is collected from the banks of River Yamuna is mixed with the soil from Sonagachi (the largest red light area of India) for crafting magnificent idols of Devi Durga and her children (i.e. Kartikeya, Ganesh, Lakshmi, Saraswati).
It is believed that the men who visits this area leaves behind their purity & virtue. Therefore, the soil becomes pure and holy. Unfortunately, our Indian society do not give a respected place to these sex workers. All thanks to our poor mentality!
Artists From Kumartuli
When it comes to celebrating festivals, my friend Delhi is not behind. During Dussehra and Durga Puja, large number of theme-based pandals are erected at different parts of the National Capital. A lot of hard work goes into making these larger-than-life puja pandals. Every Durga Puja organizer in Delhi NCR wants their pandal to be the best. Thousands of nameless heroes work day & night to bring to us those amazing pandals that we adore and get mesmerized.
You will be awestruck to see such beautiful clay idols of my favorite deity. The idol makers were working with utmost dedication and precision. I wanted to touch their feet as an art lover and devotee of Devi Durga, for sculpting magnificent & vibrant idols. We all know that Gods have given birth to human beings but here at CR Park you will see humans giving shape to Gods & Goddesses.
Thanks to few Durga Puja organizers at CR Park in Delhi, who bring these nameless heroes into limelight through their initiative ‘Unsung Heroes’. It’s really great to praise these amazing artists who come all the way from Kolkata to make our festive season a memorable one.
Mahalaya – Giving The Final Touches!
Mahalaya marks the end of Pitru Paksh and beginning of Devi Paksha. Hindu households pay homage to their ancestors by doing tarpan (offering food & water to their ancestors). On the day of Mahalaya, these hardworking idol makers takes an early morning bath and gives final touches to the clay idols by painting the eye on them. This holy ritual is known as ‘Chakshu Daan’ meaning ‘offering eyes’. Lateron, the idols are adorned with shimmering ornaments and clothes.
Festivity is in the air and the Goddess is all set to bless us with joy and success!
If you want to see some amazing Durga Puja idols in Delhi, then head towards Kali Mandir in Delhi’s mini Bengal before the puja begins. Get the first glimpse of Devi in her Mahishasurmardini form (the Goddess who slayed demon Mahishasura) along with her children, moulded with extreme devotion and care at Delhi’s Kumartuli.
It was a superb experience to see the making of Durga. A big salute and lots of respect to all those talented idol makers who brings life to the clay idols we worship during Durga Puja and Diwali.
Don’t Litter. Help Mother Nature, Help Yourself. Travel Responsibly!