Kumortuli (also spelt Kumartuli) is a traditional potters’ quarter in northern Kolkata (previously known as Calcutta), the capital of the east Indian state of West Bengal. The city is famous as a sculpting hot-spot which not only manufactures clay idols for various festivals but also regularly exports them.
Most of the artisans living in the north Kolkata neighbourhoods dwindled in numbers or even vanished, as they were pushed out of the area in the late nineteenth century by the invasion from Burrabazar. In addition, Marwari businessmen virtually flushed out others from many north Kolkata localities. The potters of Kumortuli, who fashioned the clay from the river beside their home into pots to be sold at Sutanuti Bazar (later Burrabazar), managed to survive in the area. Gradually they took to making the images of gods and goddesses, worshipped in large numbers in the mansions all around and later at community pujas in the city and beyond.