Kumortuli is a traditional potters’ quarter in northern Kolkata (previously known as Calcutta),the capital of the east Indian state of West Bengal. The city is famous as a sculpting hot-spot which not only manufactures clay idols for various festivals but also regularly exports them.
How to reach
It’s easiest to take a taxi (it will take around 30 minutes from central Kolkata) to Kumartuli. Otherwise, buses and trains go there. The nearest railway station is the Sovabazar Metro. Sovabazar Launch Ghat (alongside the Ganges river) is also close by. Taking a walk to the riverbank is worthwhile, as you’ll get to see old Gothic & Victorian style mansions. From there you can get a boat back to central Kolkata.
Best time to visit
Idol-making for various festivals happens mostly from June to January. Of course, the biggest occasion is Durga Puja. There’s usually a frenzy of activity around 20 days before the Durga Puja festival in order to get all the work finished. Traditionally, the eyes of the Goddess are drawn on (in an auspicious ritual called Chokkhu Daan) on Mahalaya — around a week before Durga Puja starts.