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Dhaka Tribune

Masterpiece in metal: Unique octo-alloy Durga idol captivates all in Dhamrai

  • Skilled artisans crafted a 520kg Durga idol over the course of a year
  • The statue is a source of wonder and appreciation for many
Update : 23 Oct 2023, 05:15 PM

In Dhaka’s Dhamrai upazila, where tradition runs deep and culture is celebrated with unwavering fervor, skilled artisans have meticulously crafted from an octo-alloy Durga idol over the course of a year.

This exceptional statue captivates onlookers in unique ways each year, drawing people of various religious backgrounds to witness its magnificence.

The idol, created in 2017 at the house of the Banik family in Dhamrai, is taken to mandap during Durga Puja every year. The temple remains a hub of regular visitors and admirers.

Sukanta Banik said that the idol, weighing a remarkable 520kg, was the result of a year-long labor of love, with an expenditure of about Tk25 lakh.

Eight metals were meticulously incorporated into the idol's construction: gold, silver, mercury, zinc, lead, iron, tin, and copper. These metals represent the Ashtadhatu (octo-alloy), symbolizing the eight planets.

Sukanta Banik said that Durga Puja has been a tradition within Banik family for nearly a century. Previously, clay idols were worshipped, but the idea of crafting a permanent idol for small family worship emerged, and this vision was subsequently realized.

Sukanta Banik further described that the idol embodies the essence of rural Bangladesh's perception of Durga, with eyes resembling bamboo leaves and a design rooted in the traditional Bengali style.

Each year, the idol undergoes meticulous decoration in preparation for Durga Puja. Following the symbolic immersion at the end of the puja, the idol is carefully preserved.

The mandap where the idol is kept during Durga Puja witnesses an influx of eager visitors, drawn by the allure of this exceptional idol. 

Khalid Hussain and his friend Dipankar Das journeyed from Savar's Radio Colony area after hearing about this remarkable creation from acquaintances.

Barshi Sarkar, a resident of Manikganj's Saturia area, noted the ubiquity of clay idols and expressed their admiration for this unique creation. “I am deeply impressed.”

The statue is a source of wonder and appreciation for many. Sukanth Vanik added that individuals from both within the country and abroad have made pilgrimages to witness it. It has garnered attention in West Bengal newspapers and has received acclaim from numerous dignitaries.

When asked about the possibility of commercially producing Durga idols, Sukanth Vanik clarified that their idol is exclusively intended for their personal worship and is not available for sale. Furthermore, the intricate craftsmanship demands a substantial amount of time, making it feasible only on a made-to-order basis.

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