Published on: December 16, 2021




Durga Puja in Kolkata has been included by UNESCO in its representative list of ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’.


  • Major annual festival celebrated most notably in Kolkata, West Bengal, in September or October month
  • Ten-day festival
  • Held to worship Goddess Durga
  • Small artisanal workshops make sculptures of Goddess Durga and her family-Lakshmi, Ganesh, Saraswati and Kartik -using unfired clay from the river bed of the Ganga River.
  • Worship of Goddess Durga begins on the inaugural day of Mahalaya, when eyes are painted on the clay Sculptures to bring the goddess to life.
  • Sculptures are immersed in the river from where the clay came from on the tenth day of the festival, also known as Vijay Dashami.



  • Includes traditions or living expressions inherited from ancestors such as oral traditions, performing arts, rituals, social practices, festive events and knowledge and practices concerning nature, universe or traditional crafts
  • Fragile, intangible cultural heritage is an important factor in maintaining cultural diversity in the wake of growing globalization and an understanding of the intangible heritage of different communities helps build intercultural dialogue and also encourages mutual respect for each other.


  • UNESCO full form- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Cultural arm of the United Nations
  • Seeks to build peace and bring together people and nations through international cooperation in education, sciences and culture
  • Programmes aim to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in the 2030 Agenda, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.
  • Established in 1945 as a successor of the League of Nations’ International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation
  • Founding mission is to advance peace, sustainable development and human rights by facilitating collaboration and dialogue among nations.

UNESCO Intangible Heritage list

  • Tradition of Vedic chanting.
  • Ramlila, the traditional performance of the Ramayana.
  • Kutiyattam, Sanskrit theatre.
  • Ramman, religious festival and ritual theatre of the Garhwal Himalayas.
  • Mudiyettu, ritual theatre and dance drama of Kerala.
  • Kalbelia folk songs and dances of Rajasthan.
  • Chhau dance.
  • Buddhist chanting of Ladakh: recitation of sacred Buddhist texts in the trans-Himalayan Ladakh region, Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Sankirtana, ritual singing, drumming and dancing of Manipur.
  • Traditional brass and copper craft of utensil making among the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru, Punjab.
  • Kumbh Mela.
  • Yoga