A short walk north of Shobabazaar Ghat on the River Hooghly, lies the warren of Kumartuli, where a community of kumars or “potters” hand-craft lavish statues of voluptuous goddesses used for the city’s religious festivals. In the days leading up to the great pujas, especially that of Durga, Kumartuli is a fascinating hive of activity. Statues take form from straw and river clay before being spray-painted and then clothed in all their finery. Although pith (banana tree marrow) is still used to decorate the statues, modern materials have made an impact. The community is also accessible from Shobabazaar Metro Station – emerge from the west exit and walk west along a lane to Rabindra Sarani and an entrance to Kumartuli.

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