Bengalis have seldom shied away from going all out when it comes to celebrating Durga Puja every year. The grandeur of the pujas in Bengal and other parts of eastern India has perhaps unmatched anywhere in the world. And keeping with the tradition, this year one of the puja organisers in Tripura want to give Kolkata a run for its money by commissioning the world’s most expensive Durga idol made of gold!

Indrajit Poddar, an artist from North 24 Pargana district in West Bengal has sculpted the Durga idol studded with American diamonds and gold that is going to adorn the pandal of Agartala’s Chatra Bandhu club.

Devotees are all set to be dazzled when they see their Goddess in all her pristine glory, adorned with jewellery and precious stones worth a whopping 4 crores!

Poddar has been making idols for more than a decade and often experiments with unique materials and components such as tree bark, fruit seeds or even shells and pearls.

Back in 2014, he had made an idol studded with pearls for the same club which later went on to be preserved at the Ujjayanta palace in Agartala.

Poddar got the choicest ornaments sourced from a leading Kolkata based jewellery showroom. The idol is being made up of glass fibre and the entire canopy reaches up to 10.5 feet.

Goddess Durga along with her four children Laxmi, Saraswati, Ganesh and Kartik have all been adorned with the gold. Poddar began working on the idol in March soon after receiving the order from the club.

“We began the main fibre structure in March and the gold work commenced from April and by July we had started working on the idol. The idol will be transported to Agartala using air-cargo,” Poddar said, adding that a little work that is left unfinished will be done once the idol reaches its destination in Tripura.

Keeping in mind the safety of the idols while it will be carried, a secured plywood box has been specially made to encase the idol. In fact, security is a key concern for such an expensive idol.

Several officials from the Habra police station have been keeping a strict watch near the artist’s house and the work area since the jewellery arrived earlier this week. CCTV cameras have also been installed to monitor the place at all times.

“We had to secure the workshop where the idol is being made with iron rods and sealed it to anyone except the workers. A team of more than one hundred artists have worked day and night on the structure,” he says.

(With inputs from Pankaj Roy)