Monday, 10 October 2011

Kolkata's Cult of Durga: Lakshmi Puja

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

Having spent most of the morning (and part of the late afternoon) in the vicinity of the Kali Temple and Kalighat, we crossed over the main street and entered a small version of Kumartuli....the potters neighborhood which produces the gigantic effigies used for the Durga Puja.

Here, however, the area is much smaller and its artisans produce smaller figurines of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, both in material and spiritual terms. The effigies are much smaller since Lakshmi Puja is traditionally celebrated within the confines of private homes. Lakshmi is depicted as a beautiful woman of golden complexion, with four hands, sitting or standing on a full-bloomed lotus and holding a lotus bud, which stands for beauty, purity and fertility.

Yes, it does seem we are getting a whole gamut of puja celebrations...from the gigantic public Durga puja to the private Lakshmi festivities.

In the meantime, we are taking the day off from photography, and are ensconced in our hotel rooms completing our individual Durga Puja multimedia projects.

Photo © Chhandak Pradhan-All Rights Reserved