Kolkata; The Making of Goddess Durga by Pritam Dutta

Durga Puja is the biggest festival for Bengalis worldwide and it all starts with the idols from these narrow lanes of Kumartuli in Kolkata. Kumartuli, perhaps one of the most incredible places to visit in Kolkata.

Durga Puja is the biggest festival for Bengalis worldwide and it all starts with the idols from these narrow lanes of Kumartuli in Kolkata.

Kumartuli, perhaps one of the most incredible places to visit in Kolkata. Situated beside the majestic Ganges near Shovabazar area, it is one of the largest idol manufacturers in Asia. Kumartuli is a maze of lanes and by-lanes where deft hands mould clay to give shape to divine forms. Every year in the run-up to Durga Puja, Kumartuli turns into a photographer’s paradise with amateurs and professionals crowding the colony to capture the idols in the making a subject too lucrative for any photographer to resist, It might be the most clicked place of whole world.

Most of the artisans are Bengali origin or work in a cluster of workshops owned by Bengali craftsmen. About 150-200 families of artisans live in this area. This has been their traditional occupation. The workshops are dimly lit. For last to month I have documented the workshop of Naryan Chandra Pal, one of the elderly artisans of Kumartuli. The whole process of Idol making is documented over the period of two month. The wooden frames on which the idols will be cast are wrapped with specially cut straw.

Then clay is knead to the right consistency. The pounded sticky clay is mixed with rice husk and applied over the straw. The idol is then left to dry. Cracks appearing on the surface are smoothed with strips of cloth and once again layered with clay. This is followed by a second application of fine-grained clay.The faces of the idols are separately cast and attached to the frames. The idols once again left to dry. Next comes the colouring. Usually, a layer of white paint is applied as the base coat. Then comes the body colouring, which can be flesh, golden yellow or pearl. Followed by the varnishing. The hair, usually of jute, is then attached. Finally, clothes, embellishments and ornaments are added. Sadly, even though the idol makers of Kumartuli play a key role in the Durga Puja, they are a beleaguered lot. Most community organisers spend a lot on the pandals and illumination but cut cost when it comes to paying the idol makers. Sometimes, the craftsmen set a high price. But as the festival approaches and the idols remain unsold, the craftsmen have to lower the price. 

The hard work of artisans and porters of  Kumartuli will help Kolkata forget many of its everyday grievances for five days. While the city will be full of lights, Kumartuli will wear a deserted look. after all, Durga, in all her splendour, never stays at Kumartuli.

About Pritam Dutta

Pritam Dutta is an independent photographer who currently lives in Kolkata, India.  His professional career started as a software engineer, but he decided to make a change to pursue his true passion for photography. The curiosity and hunger for learning that had motivated his engineering career did not vanish. Pritam now uses photography as a vehicle to understand and help depict issues that puzzle him, and satisfy his passion for learning. Love for painting drove him towards photography to capture the emotions and actions of people . Among his most prominent themes are culture, religion and people. To him photography is the best platform to represent moments of truth.

More Stories

Boxing; Muay Thai kids by Alain Schroeder

Boxing; Muay Thai kids by Alain Schroeder

Muay Thai kids project was selected and published in our print edition 19. Far from Thailand’s iconic tourist destinations, Isaan, the kingdom’s largest region, reaches north and east to the borders of Laos and Cambodia.
Spirit of India by Jacque Rupp

Spirit of India by Jacque Rupp

India has always held a special place in my heart. My first visit was during an extremely difficult period in my life, as my husband had just been diagnosed with a terminal illness. 
Nude Portraits by Martin Zurmühle

Nude Portraits by Martin Zurmühle

My specialty in nude photography is landscape nudes in beautiful locations. In the last year, however, I have also frequently created nude portraits with my models in my photo studio.

Call For Entries

We are looking for 6 fantastic photographers
who want to give an incredible impulse to their career.

We are going to put your photographs in front of the eyes of the directors
of the best galleries, festivals and agencies around the world.
Are you coming with us?

DEADLINE | TUESDAY, MAY 31, 2022

PHOTO BY © JULIA FULLERTON-BATTEN
A virtual summer by Thomas H.P. Jerusalem

A virtual summer by Thomas H.P. Jerusalem

A Virtual Summer project was selected and published in our print edition 19. A story about a girl being stuck at home pretending to be on the beach.
Death is a teacher by Srideep Banerjee

Death is a teacher by Srideep Banerjee

It was around 1'O clock when grief crept in with the chilly winds of the Ganges caressing my face. Witnessing death of a near relative isn't always easy to handle.
Salt Making by Ly Hoang Long

Salt Making by Ly Hoang Long

This type of salt production was a low-cost technology that was known and used in shallow coastal regions throughout Southeast Asia.

Featured Stories

Heroes by Erberto Zani

Heroes by Erberto Zani

Acid attack survivors in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh most of the people called them “monsters” or, sometimes, “victims”. But they prefer to be considered “survivors”. For me are heroes.
The corsair project by Samuka Marinho

The corsair project by Samuka Marinho

This is a personal project developed by photographer Samuka Marinho as an original portfolio presentation. It is composed of over 400 images and has taken around a year and a half to be completed.
Nude art : Ties of perception by Nofar Horovitz

Nude art : Ties of perception by Nofar Horovitz

Being a photographer immersed in the process of recovering from sexual assault brought up the subjects of nude art, body image, womanhood, female empowerment and coping with stress and trauma to my attention.
Sandro Giordano ; In Extremis (bodies with no regret)

Sandro Giordano ; In Extremis (bodies with no regret)

My photographs are “short stories” about a world that is falling-down. Each shot tells about worn-out characters who, in a sudden black-out of mind and body, crash with no attempt to save themselves.
Diego Bardone : Unpredictable coincidences

Diego Bardone : Unpredictable coincidences

In his eyes there's the lesson of humanist postwar French photographers: Doisneau, Boubat, Izis those he likes more but even Bresson and Erwitt are a big source of inspiration
Religious devotion; Viernes Santo by Oliver Weber

Religious devotion; Viernes Santo by Oliver Weber

Ceremony of the funeral of god’s son Jesus. With the arrival of spring comes Easter week. It has centuries of history behind it and is one of Spain’s most authentic and emotive celebrations.
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Mono-banner.jpg

We invite you to participate in the first edition of the Monochromatic Awards. We are eager to see photograhs with new focus points and innovative approaches

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BAnImage.jpg

ImageRights provides intelligent image search and copyright enforcement services to photo agencies and professional photographers worldwide.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/banner.jpg

The book where words and images meet to never leave each other, The book contains 20 evocative paintings; each of them is a double page. 56 printed pages | 235x165mm

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/call21.jpg

Call For Entries #21 | After 20 editions and more than 100 published photographers, our print edition has proven to be a simply effective promotional channel.

Pilot by Mano Svanidze

Pilot by Mano Svanidze

We live in a boom of scripted TV series where watching TV shows take the face of addiction. It has brought many changes in people's behavior and their response to others.
Berlin bhf. by Anna Tihanyi

Berlin bhf. by Anna Tihanyi

Berlin bhf. (bahnhof) is a staged series that is rooted in intimate issues of my personal life, through which I could emphasize Berlin being a transitory place, a habitat of the passengers.
Eroticism & art; Tantalus by Terence Bogue

Eroticism & art; Tantalus by Terence Bogue

Whatever the version, he has given us the English word Tantalise - the embodiment of promise, flirtation or eroticism - just out of reach?I am drawn to the way B&W Photography conveys these tantalising glimpses. Glimpses that take on their own life in ways that enable each individual the freedom of their own unique interpretation.
Hidden Landscape by Stefan Schlumpf

Hidden Landscape by Stefan Schlumpf

Grey, melted snow and ice runs like silent tears. Crumbling, ancient ice crunches. Tired from the fight against the warmth, the glaciers take flight, fleeing from human ignorance.
Lifepod by Gianluca Micheletti

Lifepod by Gianluca Micheletti

My project consists of inserting some primates - they share with humans up to almost 99% of DNA - in safety capsules that will regenerate a form of primordial life, in a future day, after the extinction of the human breed.
The ordinary by Lotta Lemetti

The ordinary by Lotta Lemetti

For me creating still life compositions is a form of self-exploration. The creating process is an intriguing and almost devotional journey through my mind. Through predilections in aesthetic decisions such as subject matter, color and composition the work reflects who I am, where I come from and what I have experienced.

Monochromatic Awards

We invite you to participate in the first edition
of the monochromatic awards. We are looking
for the best monochrome picture for this year, 2022.

The contest is open to any interpretation of monochromatic photography,
black and white, grayscale, sepia or any type of tone.

DEADLINE | THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 2022

PHOTO BY © SVETLIN YOSIFOV

Trending Stories

Suspended Cities – Portraits from the underground by Martino Chiti

Suspended Cities – Portraits from the underground by Martino Chiti

This work is reflected in and transcends the images shot by Walker Evans in the New York subways in the 40’s. It doesn’t make reference to any specific place but to distant and different cities which appear here as if closed in one single space.
33 Rooms by Sasha Bauer

33 Rooms by Sasha Bauer

After graduating from university in my home town, I moved to St. Petersburg. Like many new arrivals, I needed to rent a place stay. Since I usually rented rooms in shared apartments, the fate of staying in a communal apartment did not pass me by.
Photo shoot : Chinatown by Thomas H.P. Jerusalem

Photo shoot : Chinatown by Thomas H.P. Jerusalem

Back in Germany in the 1960's and early 70's, and I believe I was 3 or 4 when my dad started to take photography to a more serious level.
Greenland; Stories from the Sea by Camille Michel

Greenland; Stories from the Sea by Camille Michel

Greenland became politically independent from Denmark in 1979 and is slowly getting on the path to economic independency. The ‘ice country’ is currently facing the consequences of climate change.
Portrait of the Matterhorn by Nenad Saljic

Portrait of the Matterhorn by Nenad Saljic

The Matterhorn is a product of geological processes that transcend our concept of time. It was born from the remnants of an enormous African rock mass which originated more than 250 million years ago
Seascapes photography by Pierre Gobled

Seascapes photography by Pierre Gobled

As a passionate photographer, I used to follow many websites and photoblogs to learn new techniques and also just for the love of photography.
The mystery of the Babbaluti by Lello Fargione

The mystery of the Babbaluti by Lello Fargione

The feast established in 1612 and since then the rite has always been repeated the same: it therefore seems that for one day time has stopped its rapid flow, a solemn celebration between paganism and religiosity
Lumen prints by Žilvinas Kropas, Aušra Kropienė & Mėta Kropaitė

Lumen prints by Žilvinas Kropas, Aušra Kropienė & Mėta Kropaitė

The photography of the 21st century is still able to surprise us. The mass of images that land on our screens every day is so enormous that twenty-four hours would probably not be enough to count them.
Someone’s Rubbish by Chloe Juno

Someone’s Rubbish by Chloe Juno

Someone’s Rubbish is a documentary study with photographs taken daily since 2014.  It feels like an archaeology project, a study of human activity and an analysis of material culture, the things we buy and consume, a field study of a city.

Other Stories

stay in touch
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest stories, opportunities, calls and more.
We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use
We’d love to
Thank you for subscribing!
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted.
- Between 10/30 images of your best images, in case your project contains a greater number of images which are part of the same indivisible body of work will also be accepted. You must send the images in jpg format to 1200px and 72dpi and quality 9. (No borders or watermarks)
- A short biography along with your photograph. (It must be written in the third person)
- Title and full text of the project with a minimum length of 300 words. (Texts with lesser number of words will not be accepted)
This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Contact
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Get in Touch
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact hello@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.