Photo by Seshadri Basak
Bordering the Hooghly River in northern Kolkata is the colony of Kumortuli. Its name literally means “potter’s colony” (kumor, or kumhar, is the potter sect), and the residents have kept this tradition alive for centuries. The idols made here not only pop up at pandals across the city but are also purchased by NRIs looking to add a touch of homegrown craftsmanship to their Durga Puja celebrations. Seshadri Basak, a freelance photographer and former student of photojournalism at the National Institute of Creative Communication, Bangalore, visited the colony earlier this year, two months before Durga Puja. His photo-essay, Festive Kolkata’s Unpainted Creation, captures the art of the Kumortuli potters at various stages of the idol-making process.