Durga Puja Preparation, Making Idols of Goddess Durga
Every year a group of idol makers from Kamartuli, Kolkata come down to Bangalore to make idols of Goddess Durga. This year too they have arrived; Pal da, Das babu, Roshik da… I heard them calling out to each other. Some of them recognize me because every year I visit this place where they meticulously mould the soft clay in to firm idol of Goddess Durga.
Clay for Making Idols Of Goddess Durga
This year they brought 7 truckloads of clay with them from Kolkata for making idols of Goddess Durga. There are more than 20 groups in Bangalore which require these idols of Goddess Durga. For more than a month these idol makers work on the clay creating stunning idols. The clay is of special kind not available in Bangalore. It is no ordinary clay, as it is a mix of 4 different things. Part of it is clay from Ganges which constitutes the major chunk. To it cow dung and cow urine, which is considered holy by Hindus, is mixed.
The 4th ingredient is soil from aangan (courtyard) of sex workers. One can’t just go and pick up the soil from the prostitute’s courtyard. A purohit alone can procure it. That too he has to beg for that soil and keep begging till she relents. Why this soil is considered purest? To this question I will quote the sentence repeated in almost every site: It is said that whenever a man visits a prostitute, he leaves behind his purity and virtue on her doorstep. So, all the pureness gets accumulated outside her house. Hence, this ‘punya maati’ (holy soil) becomes a must add element in the Durga Maa murti (idol).
All these are mixed well, then a main purohit (Hindu priest) chants mantras, offers prayers and after this pious procedure the clay is considered holy. This clay is distributed among idol makers of Goddess Durga which they mix with huge amounts of clay making the whole lot pious and worthy of making idols. That explains why they bring truck load of clay all the way from Kolkata. Though the reason they told me was it is of special kind not available in Bangalore. (I did a bit of googling to find this out.)
Eco Friendly Idols of Goddess Durga
I saw the eco friendly way these idol makers made the idols of Goddess Durga. The basic frame work made of bamboo sticks on which hay is wrapped. So the skeletal frame of the idols is just the sticks and hay. On this they keep adding the clay giving the fine shape and figure. It takes at least 2 weeks to get a completely dry form of this base structure. On this they apply a layer of liquid fine clay to smoothen the surface, and then spray paint it. I must mention here that all the paint s they use are of eco friendly nature, no metallic paints used. Time just flies as I watch them making idols of Goddess Durga.
I watched an artist there painting the eyes of Goddess Durga. Line after line, color after color he kept adding giving a definite beautiful shape to the eyes. I clicked several pictures of the artist at work. In the end I got tired of my simple job of clicking but the artist went on and on. The idols aren’t complete yet, 75% of the work is done. In the coming days they will add several accessories, clothing and jewelry and then they will be transported to the different Durga Puja pandals of the city.
Like every year my Durga Puja preparations are on. I am looking forward to this annual celebrations, enjoyment, eating and entertainment! Happy Pujo to you all my dear friends who celebrate Durga Pujo!