The reason why mitti from the land of prostitutes is used to make the idols of Goddess Durga

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The punya mitti to make idols is a mixture of cow urine, mud from the banks of the holy river Ganga, cow dung and also a little bit of nishiddho palli or the mud from the forbidden land.

Those of you who've watched Sanjay Leela Bhansali's popular love saga Devdaas, must be remembering the first scene where Paro aka Aishwarya Rai goes to meet Chandramukhi aka Madhuri Dixit to ask for a little soil or mitti from her backyard.

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While you must have forgotten that scene long ago, the truth is that till today the mud or mitti from the land of prostitutes is used to make the idols of Goddess Durga before the festival of Durga Pooja every year in the north of Kolkata.

A small town of Kumortuli in Kolkata takes upon itself the daunting task of making the idols of durga, Saraswati, and other idols making sure that they contain the right balance of punya mitti or blessed soil.

This punya mitti is a mixture of cow urine, mud from the banks of the holy river Ganga, cow dung and also a little bit of nishiddho palli or the mud from the forbidden land that is known as Sonagachi, the glorified red-light area of Kolkata.

The reason for the custom

While no one really knows when this tradition of taking soil from the read-light area began, many say that it was propagated to uplift the women who are literally barred from the society. The ritual involves a priest begging to give him some mud in front of a sex worker.

Once the practice of digging of the soil begins, the priest must recite a particular mantra to pray for prosperity and well-being of the inhabitants of that area.

Another reason for this practice is that when people enter this area they shed their inhibitions and enter the land of sin, leaving all their virtues and holiness behind. So, they say that this piousness is absorbed by the very same soil, making the land sacred and the mitti fit to be used to make an idol for Maa Durga.

Indeed, Indian culture's customs and rituals can sometimes be really surprising. Don't you all agree?

Also Read: The significance of colours in Navratri: The festival of nine hues

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[Images courtesy: Instagram, Main Image courtesy: Instagram]
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