Kolkata: Poila Baisakh marks the beginning of the preparation of Durga Puja, with several Puja organisers visiting Kumartuli to place order for idols.
Durga Puja is still 184 days away, but there are several Puja organisers in and around the city that consider the first day of the Bengali calendar as the auspicious one to place order for the idol of Goddess Durga and her entourage.
There are around 600 artisans in Kumartuli and they make around 4,000 idols of Goddess Durga every year. Different Puja organisers follow different traditions. Some organisers place order for idols on Poila Baisakh, while the number of the same is more on the day of Rathayatra.
The artisans start making idols of which they get order on Poila Baisakh, in the first week of May. At the same time, they also complete the basic preparation for the idols they have to start making after Rathayatra.
Kartik Pal, a senior member of the Kumartuli Mrit Shilpi Samity, said: "The organisers perform a Puja in their clubs on Poila Baisakh and many of them then come to Kumartuli in the afternoon or in the evening, to place order for the idols of Goddess Durga. It has been the tradition for many organisers and no one wants to discontinue it until and unless there is any difficulty."
This year, Mahasaptami of Durga Puja is on October 16 and Puja organisers will start taking the idols to Puja pandals at least 10 days ahead of Mahasaptami. In some cases, it would happen at least 15 days ahead as well. Keeping this in mind, the artisans in Kumartuli have started making preparations, so that they do not face any trouble in allowing Puja organisers to take idols on time. Like all the previous years, the artisans are also taking necessary steps considering the problems that they usually face every year during monsoon.
Most idols in and around the city are made in Kumartuli and it is also a place of tourist attraction for people who visit the city from different parts of the country and abroad.