West Bengal specializes in preserving the age old tradition of making clay idols. Such unmatched skills come in the limelight during the festive occasion of Durga Puja. Months before the Puja clay artisans start to breathe in life in the images of Durga. Bamboo sticks cut in various shapes and sizes are required to make the basic structure of the idols of Goddess Durga and the platform on which the colossal statue stands. Durga's figure is then imparted shape with straw tied with jute strings. Creating fascinating figurines of Hindu Gods and Goddesses has been an age old tradition for the Pals (the clay artisans). Making of Durga idols is a lengthy and a back breaking process. This is done diligently and methodically by the artisans to create the most exquisite pieces of artistry.Such is the perfection of idol making, that the skeleton structure of bamboo and straw are done by one group of artisans while the clay mixing and applications are done by another group and finally the head, palms and feet are done by the highest graded artisans or Pals. The second stage of idol making is applying the layers of clay. This is done in three steps. The straw figurine of Goddess is applied with the first coat of clay solution where the percentage of water is high.
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