Durga Puja or the ceremonial worship of the mother goddess is a major festival of the Hindus. During these 10 days of fast, feast and festivity in October every year, the clay idol of goddess Durga is worshipped. The finest of these idols for Durga Puja in India and abroad are made by traditional artisans from Kumartuli (previously called Coomartolly' by the British, and also 'Kumortuli' by the Bengalis or) in northern Calcutta (now known as Kolkata).
Literally meaning the 'potter's place', Kumartuli's craftsmen are the official makers of Calcutta's clay idols since late 18th century. Due to the superb quality and deft craftsmanship of the idol makers of Kumartuli, many of these fine clay models are also exported to Western countries - especially the UK and the US - during the annual Durga Puja celebrations. It is estimated that Kumartuli alone supplies nearly 13,000 earthen statues to nearly a 100 countries around the world every year.
Himadri Shekhar Chakrabarty, young photographer from Calcutta have been regularly visiting Kumartuli for a couple of months before the beginning of the creation to capture the creative process of the making of India's finest clay idols and the progress week by week. He shares his best shots in this photo gallery depicting how the artisans of Kumartuli create such beautiful clay idols of the Mother Goddess and her cohorts for the upcoming Durga Puja celebrations.