Earlier this week, three Hindu idols which are traditionally used in the festival’s celebrations, were put on display in the atrium at the Museum, coinciding nicely with the beginning of Durga Puja. The idols were donated to us from the Bengali Association of Merseyside, who use statues like this every year during Durga Puja.
We were lucky enough to have members of the Association dress the statues ready for the beginning of the festival. All but Mahishasura, the demon, are dressed with flower garlands.
Starting from the left, Ganesh is the remover of obstacles, and Lakshmi stands next to him and is goddess of wealth. Standing in the middle is the supreme goddess Mother Durga; she rides on a lion and has killed the demon, Mahishasura. Then on right, riding on a swan, is Saraswati, goddess of learning and on her right is a warrior, Kartik, who rides a peacock.
The statues were made in Kolkata using clay from the River Ganges. At the end of the festival the decorative components are removed from the statues and they are immersed into the River Ganges where the clay will disintegrate. This, rather nicely, symbolises the circle of life.
These colourful statues will be on display until 22 January 2014.