We believe that; for a travel company, we should have perspective of different individuals and their experiences, how they were able to discover life in their very own way. So; we invited Mrs. Sumali Mukherjee to write about her city, Kolkata, in our blog and her favorite places to visit in the ‘City of Joy’. You will get to read about her experiences in Kumartuli, College Street, Nabinchandra Sweet shop and many more places. Let us know if you would like to share your experience about your travel to India and we would be more than happy to make them a part of our blogs:
The earstwhile Coomartuli has come a long way since its inception around 1757 when East India Company alloted specific parts of the city to specific artisans, just after the Battle of Plasey.
Kumartuli acquired its name from the word kumhar which means potter. This area was basically a potter's quarters.
However, these artisans flourished and started making idols of Gods and Goddesses for the various Hindu festivals with materials as basic as clay and straw. The clay used is found in the nearby banks of the Ganges is sticky and of fine texture, thus this area stood the test of time and acquired a place of prominence in the cultural map of the country. The idols created here are famous and popular worlwide and the medium has evolved from clay to fiber, glass and other modern and artistic materials. Goddess Durga slaying the proverbial Mahisasur is a very popular idol both nationally and internationally as the Bengali diaspora order idols for the September- October extravaganza of Durga Puja.
The months before the Durgapuja is the best time to visit Kumartuli to watch the magnificiently massive idols of the Goddess is in the process of making.
The biggest attraction is to watch the installation art in progress using very basic, rustic, traditional techniques. Such intricate and artistic installations seem to stand the test of time. It turns the clock backwards for the viewer. Time seems to stand still and it is a visual as well as artistic treat, enthralling the casual as well as the learners of art.
Kumartulli is perhaps tbe best example of large scale folk art as art permeats into everyday life of the artisans.
Taking a walk down these lanes and bylanes is a unique experience in itself, with, perhaps, no parallel globally.
How folk and traditional practices can develop into an art form can be seen live in Kumatulli. Idol making, here, is not an artistic persuit in isolation, it is a way of life.
Kumartuli also has a few more historical and cultural milestones in its vicinity.
The College Street used books market is a storehouse of old books.
Sarada Devi Ghat is another place worth a visit. Tales of the cultural revolution abound around the ghat.
Finally, Nabin Chandra Das sweet shop is worth a visit as the place where the iconic bengali sweet, Roshogolla was crafted for the first time.
A walk through Kumartuli is sure to thrill the visitor, not just visually, but intellectually as well. It sets you thinking, ruminating and wondering about old Calcutta, the cradle of historical crossroads.
If the above information catches your attention, connect with Trinetra Tours for planning your best tour to Kolkata an d West Bengal, and get ready to pack your bags for an adventure of a lifetime.