Idol makers in Cuttack scurrying to meet Saraswati Puja deadline

By: Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty

Cuttack: “Bara masa re Tera Paraba” (13 festivals in 12 months), goes an Odia saying about the plethora of festivals in Odisha. And no place fits the description better than Cuttack, the old capital of the state with a rich history of over 1000 years.

People from every walk of life come together and celebrate the festivals in a grand way, justifying the sobriquet ‘City of Brotherhood’ that the city has earned over the years.

There is a god or goddess for every virtue and every section of the society and every festival is celebrated with a festive fervour and religious harmony in the city.

With Saraswati Puja round the corner, preparations are on in full swing in the city. The artisans of Shilpi Kumbhara Sahi here are now having a busy time making clay images of Saraswati – the Goddess of knowledge, music and arts.

The idol-makers are immersed in preparations to meet the demands of their customers.

“We are a family of six. As there are lots of orders for the puja, everyone in my family is busy making idols of Goddess Sararswati. We have made clay images of the goddess. They will be coloured a week before they are made available in the market for sale,” Arjun Rana, an artesian said.

“Making clay idols of the deities is my family business. For Saraswati Puja, we generally make the idols of the deity sitting on a lotus or a swan with the veena in her hands. The idols are available in all sizes with the small ones about a foot tall while the bigger ones are as high as seven to eight feet,” said another idol-maker Harihara Behera.

“While people buy small idols for their homes, educational institutions across the city, who are our major clients, buy the bigger ones. The prices of these idols vary from Rs 150 to Rs 5,000 depending on the size, quality of colours and intricacy of the craftsmanship,” Behera added.