Kolkata: Thousands of devotees and revellers are making a beeline for a marquee in north Kolkata to pay obeisance to a Durga idol decked out in a sari made by using 22-carat gold worth crores of rupees, an organiser said on Friday.
Those visiting the Santosh Mitra Square marquee are simply left awestruck while gazing at the Durga idol, which the organisers say highlights Bengal's rich heritage and the artisans' creativity.
"The Goddess' idol adorned with a sari made of pure gold is something that had never been done before. Earlier, there have been idols decorated with gold jewellery and zari work," puja committee President Pradip Ghosh told IANS.
"As much as 30 kg gold worth over Rs 10 crore was used in crafting the beautiful sari with an intricate embroidery and studded with gemstones," he said.
No clothing material was used for the dress, which has floral motifs, images of butterflies and birds, apart from an embossed image of a peacock.
Senco Gold and Diamond's Managing Director Sankar Sen, who sponsored the gold and the craftwork that went into the making of the sari, told IANS: "Initially, we started work with 30 kg gold. But the amount of precious metal used came down during cutting and polishing. The finished sari weighs around nine kg and is worth Rs 3 crore."
Around 25-30 skilled artisans worked on the costume for over 90 days, Sen said.
"Designer Agni Mitra Paul, artisans, and idol-maker Mintu Pal worked round the clock to execute this project," Ghosh said.
The endeavour was taken up not randomly but on purpose for the club's 82nd celebrations to showcase the talent of Bengali artisans, said Ghosh.
"The idea wasn't chosen randomly but was well thought out. People around the world have a great interest in intricate and delicate designs used by Bengal jewellers. More than 1.3 lakh artisans, directly or indirectly, are associated with this industry in the state. We hope this initiative will bring them dividends," said Ghosh, who is involved with the jewellery industry for decades.
The hard work has paid off as devotees and other revellers highly praised the idol, which is the cynosure of all eyes, set in the backdrop of the iconic London Bridge, Big Ben, London Eye and Buckingham Palace, he said.
The organisers have planned in advance about the immersion of the idol.
"The gold sari was set in such a way that it can be taken off before the immersion of the idol," Ghosh added.