Countless clay effigies of deities and demons immersed in the Hooghly during Kolkata’s colourful pujas (offering or prayers) are created in specialist kumar (sculptor) workshops in this enthralling district, notably along Banamali Sarkar St, the lane running west from Rabindra Sarani. Craftsmen are busiest from August to October, creating straw frames, adding clay coatings, and painting divine features on idols for Durga and Kali festivals. In November, old frameworks wash up on riverbanks and are often repurposed the following year.
Photography is widely allowed, and for a small tip, it's even possible to sit in at a studio and observe the idol-maker immersed in his work. Apart from gods and (vanquished) demons, you'll often see statues of Victorian figurines, popular historical figures and local legends being constructed, as these are often used to decorate puja pandals.