Nestled on the east bank of the Hooghly river, a distributary of the mighty Ganges, Kolkata is the primary commercial, cultural, artistic and intellectual centre of East India and the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. With a population of nearly 15 million people — making it India’s third-most populous metropolitan centre — Greater Kolkata heaves and churns with a crush of humanity. As Lonely Planet aptly articulates, Kolkata “is a daily festival of human existence, simultaneously noble and squalid, cultured and desperate, decidedly futuristic while splendid in decay… As the former capital of British India, Kolkata retains a feast of colonial-era architecture contrasting starkly with urban slums and dynamic new-town suburbs with their air-conditioned shopping malls… [Kolkata] is a city you ‘feel’ more than simply visit.”

See my cover feature for Silkwinds magazine about Kolkata’s Kumortuli neighbourhood and the kumors (Bengali for potters) who craft the colourful Hindu goddesses that grace pujas (religious ceremonies) across the state of West Bengal.