A Silver Throne for the Goddess

Installing a silver filigree throne for Goddess Durga during the Puja season in Cuttack, Odisha

Dastkari Haat Samiti

Dastkari Haat Samiti

Silver Filigree: Establishing the silver simhasan (2017)Dastkari Haat Samiti

The different states and communities of India have various festivals depending on harvests, rituals or other ceremonial periods, celebrating their different gods. For the craftsmen and women, the gods and their idols are of prime importance as during these festivals, it becomes their responsibility to create and adorn the idols that the rest of the community worships. In the bustling town of Cuttack in Odisha, during the Puja season, it is the silversmiths who get the honor of using their centuries old silver filigree craft to adorn the throne of Goddess Durga.  

Silver Filigree: In process (2017)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Also known as the 'Silver City of India', Cuttack is famous for Chandi Tarkashi: the craft of silver filigree. The city is home to many talented silversmiths who belong to the Sunar or goldsmith community and commonly use the surname Sahoo.

Silver Filigree: Establishing the silver simhasan (2017)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Silversmiths of Cuttack excel in crafting large ornamental pieces that add grandeur to the Durga idols during Durga Puja, as well as other dieties during other festivals.

Silver Filigree: Establishing the silver simhasan (2017)Dastkari Haat Samiti

The Mangala temple at Alisa Bazar, Cuttack, has a large silver throne that surrounds the clay idol of Goddess Durga.

Silver Filigree: Silver throne (2017)Dastkari Haat Samiti

The huge elaborate throne called simhasan, is made by silver filigree artists in an almost ritualistic manner. Fifteen master silversmiths, over a period of one year, worked collectively to make this silver throne.

Silver Filigree: Establishing the silver simhasan (2017)Dastkari Haat Samiti

The process is highly elaborate, using precision machines and skilled handwork, apart from the ingenuity and creativity of these traditional artisans.

Silver Filigree: Establishing the silver simhasan (2017)Dastkari Haat Samiti

The silversmith community of Alisha Bazaar in Cuttack along with other businessmen of the area donated the silver for the throne.

A closer look at the throne shows the fine filigree work that adds layers of details.

Silver Filigree: Establishing the silver simhasan (2017)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Almost 370 kgs of silver was used to make the elaborate throne for the Mangala temple.

Silver Filigree: Establishing the silver simhasan (2017)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Although this throne was made a few years ago, it is specially decorated over and over again during Durga Puja every year.

Silver Filigree: Establishing the silver simhasan (2017)Dastkari Haat Samiti

After the silver throne is assembled, it is further decorated with flowers and lights for the festivity.

Silver Filigree: Establishing the silver simhasan (2017)Dastkari Haat Samiti

The silversmiths and the public have reverence and dedication for the simhasan and the idol.
Until everything is installed for public viewing, the temple gates remain closed and the Durga idol is covered.

Silver filigree in Cuttack: A calendar of sacred festivalDastkari Haat Samiti

Credits: Story

Text: Jaya Jaitly
Photography: Chirodeep Chaudhuri
Artisans: Ruksar Ali and community filigree artists
Ground Facilitator: Ankit Kumar
Documentary Video: Ankit Kumar
Curation: Ruchira Verma

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Related theme
Crafted in India
Meet the makers. Explore their craft. Share their stories.
View theme
Google apps