Ten pictures of Idol Making during Durga Puja
If you are a photographer or have interest in exploring the culture while traveling, you must not miss the process of the ‘idol making’ during the ‘Durga Puja’ Festival in India.This is the same festival called as ‘Navratri’ which I have featured in my previous blog.
Many attend the festival but only a few are interested to know what goes on behind the scenes. Since I live in Delhi, I eagerly visit this beautiful festival each year. I particularly love visiting the areas where skilled artisans spend weeks and months dedicated to idol making. I have clicked and shared below, ten pictures from the first stage of idol-making which is then followed by the painting stage. The destination where these pictures are taken is called as ‘Chittaranjan Park’. It is a colony in Delhi where many residents of Bengali origin stays.
Worshipping is a ceremonial process from day 1 to day 10. Though this festival starts on day one, the preparation and efforts begin months before. The procedure of idol making is based on strict guidelines and is time-consuming.The societies or communities who organize this Puja have to collect donations for running the event.
Making of these idols in much less time is a challenging task. Makeshift tents are made where skilled craftsman gather to work day and night, to bring to life these beautiful idols.
One must notice the process right from the beginning where artisan starts idol making by using simple raw materials. Straw, hay and wood shafts are used to create the ‘torso’ and clay is used to give it a lifelike form. Each mentioned God or Demon need to be created from scratch. The efforts going in building the demon face of Mahisashura or the Holy Lion are no less.
After certain days of preparing the structure of the idol, fine-tuning starts. Dresses are made for the idols and are further set up in shape from the molten clay. This entire preparation and process can take more than two months. An ordinary artisan cannot perform such a magnificent task, the skill used is unmatched. A team is formed from experienced artisans and a few arrive from the West Bengal region too.
The head of the idol of Goddess Durga is built separately and added later. On a special day, the eyes are painted on it.After the entire idol preparation starts hand painting of the statues. Each stage has different predefined rules to follow.
Goddess Durga, Goddess Laxmi, Goddess Saraswati, God Ganesha, God Karthikeya, demon Mahisashura and the animals together comprise the complete arrangement for the worshipping.
As can be seen in pictures below, passion is another key factor too. Working day and night without any significant break is nothing but passion.In Kolkata, West Bengal more than thousand such Puja happens each year!Since there are many Puja Tent or ‘ Pandals ‘ organized in any city, the demand for the statues gets very high.
While worshipping during the festival one must remember the efforts gone behind the entire arrangement. Here are ten pictures to describe what goes on behind the scenes.
The process then moves to the clothing of idols into various colors of red yellow white etc and also placing of hairs. At the final stages, the idols are adorned with beautiful jewelry.Every time I get mesmerized visiting these places, watching the idols coming alive.
On the tenth day of the festival, the idols are immersed in water. As per ritual, this is important because the Goddess Durga is believed to have arrived the mortal world and blessed everyone and then departs on the tenth day. The tenth-day festival is called as Bijoya Dashmi meaning Victorious Tenth Day! On this day the festivities are no less as everyone bids farewell to the Goddess with immense gratitude.
In case you are wondering, how do the idols look when all is done, here is a picture for the same.
So, next time definitely explore the idol-making while visiting India.
Also, post the Puja the idols are immersed in water as a symbol to bid adieu to the Goddess once she blesses us!
25 thoughts on “Ten pictures of Idol Making during Durga Puja”
Wow!! that’s such a time-consuming process, but totally worth it. The final product looks so good, always!
So glad you liked it Aditi, I saw it once and have been visiting them regularly.
Seems like very challenging work to me.
Michael, it’s actually challenging as they live near those work areas and contribute day and night to this.
These are incredible !!! I love how detailed they are.
Thanks, Kimberly, yup actually very very detailed and done as per set procedures.
Wow it’s indeed amazing to see how they are creating these sacred statues, that’s a lot of hardwork there.
Thanks, Alexine, I can only imagine the passion these workers have to do this hard work. they definitely have a belief that they will be blessed by the goddess for sure.
Wow what a lot of hard work must go into those detailed idols!
Yes Alex, I discovered this only recently and was amazed to see this. On the tenth day though as per ritual all the idols must be immersed in water.
Wow, so much art and skill go into the process! It’s very impressive. Especially the detail is so beautiful:) Would love to see it someday!
Their hard works deserve appreciation indeed, glad I could post about this, hope you see it too someday.
That’s some good information and a lot of hard work
Thanks, Heraa, kudos to the workers who put in so many efforts into this.
Loved this post on Durga Puja – Indian festivals are so fascinating.
Thankyou so much, this was a great festival to attend last month .
Wow these look pretty awesome, so much detail!!
Thanks, Katie….. so many efforts but you know that on the tenth day all idols are immersed in water! It reflects that Mother Goddess has blessed all and gone back to return next year !
Wooow! Not much people appreciate the amount of preparation that goes into each festival. Even planning a party takes quite of lot of preparation. I liked seeing the process in these photos. It’s beautiful! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Thanks, Tyra, glad I could share their efforts with all, sometimes I wonder how these skilled craftsman can do so much with such patience 🙂
These artists are super awesome. The delicate process requires some high level artistry and they nailed it.
You guessed it right Noel ! High level artistry and passion indeed , so happy I could share this with you 🙂
I like to read your post, on festivals and this is yet another amazing post well written. Images of Ganesh Ji is very beautiful.
thankyou so much Rahat ! Glad to know you like the posts , this was in Delhi during the Puja , check out the videos on the youtube Vlogs 😀
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