Monday, 30th October 2017

E- paper

Beldih Durga idol 2ft shorter

The crowd-puller idol, known for its imposing presence, will be 16ft tall this year and not 18ft as has been the norm since 1964

By Jayesh Thaker in Jamshedpur
  • Published 7.10.18, 1:06 AM
  • Updated 7.10.18, 1:06 AM
  • a min read
  •  
An artisan works on an idol of Goddess Durga at Beldih Kalibari in Bistupur, Jamshedpur, on Saturday. Bhola Prasad

In a departure from tradition, the Durga idol at Beldih Kalibari in Bistupur will be shorter this year.

The crowd-puller idol, known for its imposing presence, will be 16ft tall this year and not 18ft as has been the norm since 1964. Chief artisan Ajay Chakravarty said the Beldih Kalibari Puja committee had asked him reduce Durga’s height by 2ft for immersion convenience.

However, it will still remain the tallest in the town.

“The committee has been experiencing problems in immersing the giant 18ft idol. So we have been asked to bring down the height,” Chakravarty told this paper on Saturday.

He added that all the idols in the Durga family have a total weight of around 700kg.

“Unlike other idols, which have a wooden structure for support, the one here is made of solid wood. This adds to the weight,” the master artisan, who learnt to make idols from his late father Shaktipada Chakravarty, said.

He said it was the first time that he was making a Durga idol below 18ft for the Beldih Kalibari.

“We have been making 18ft idols all these years. The height and eyes of the idol are the main attraction here,” Chakravarty said.

He said a lot of effort went into making the idol stand out.

“I have to climb up a ladder to carve the eyes with a small and sharp piece of wood. A lot of concentration and balance is required for this job. I personally carve and draw the eyes because they are a key feature of any Durga idol. The eyes are a reflection of the soul,” Chakravarty said while applying clay on the idol.

Despite the shorter height, Durga will continue to look resplendent in the traditional daaker saaj.

There are two kinds of embellishments that are used on the idol — sholar saaj and daker saaj.

In the former, the idol is decorated with shola, a white material derived from the pith of a plant, also called shoal, growing in marshy areas.

Daker saaj is made from silver foil and enhanced with silver sequins

In the earlier days, the silver sequins were used to be imported from Germany and was delivered by post or dak.

That’s how it got it’s name.