Nuruddin Ahmed’s extraordinary creativity takes Assam to new ‘heights’

Saturday, 15 August 2020


Nuruddin Ahmed’s extraordinary creativity takes Assam to new ‘heights’

Chandrika Das | September 21, 2017 16:33 hrs

Nuruddin Ahmed, the creative genius behind the 100 feet tall bamboo Durga idol of Bishnupur Puja, is a person with vast experiences and achievements. His immense knowledge on art, both virtual and physical, could give anyone a tough time to sum up in words.


Born in a small village of Nalbari, called Sathikuchi, Nuruddin Ahmed has travelled carrying art and culture in his heart, soul, and mind. He has been a student of J. J College of Arts, Mumbai, and is also an alumnus of Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi. His thrive for art, brought him to Guwahati from Nalbari in the year 1979. 


By profession, he is an Art Director in both mobile theatres and films. Ahmed has devoted37 year of his life to Asamese mobile theatres, and there is hardly any name that he doesn’t have in his account. In mobile theatre, he has worked with Indradhenu (1982-84), Kohinoor (1985-2009), Abahan (1989-2015), Bhagyadevi (1990, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2004), Bordoisila (2001), Pragjyotish (2001), Jyotirupa (2002), Ashirbad (2007), Rajtilak (2008), and Rajashree (20019-10). Having now disconnected himself from mobile theatre, he fondly recalls working with eminent filmmakers like Munin Baruah and Mahendra Borthakur and sighs that mobile theatres have now drowned under commercialism. He has done the stage sets for as many as 40 outstanding plays of mobile theatre, including Macbeth, Titanic, Hamlet, Anarkali, Samudra Manthan, Othello, Aranyat Godhuli among others. Till 2016, he has worked as Art Director in 110 telefilms for Doordarshan and 110 TV serials in various languages. 



He also has around 53 individual plays in his account, including names Lovita, Mara Manuh, Mouth Slap, Agra Bazar, Lily O Lily, Tourist Lodge, Mohe Priya, A Sunny Morning. He has worked as Art Director in 110 telefilms for Doordarshan, till the year 2016, and as many as 110 TV serials of Assamese, Hindi, Bengali, Khasi, Mijo, and Karbi language. 


Nuruddin Ahmed is the creative person behind the entry gate of Srimanta Shankardev Kalakshetra, the Bhupen Hazarika Memorial statue, the entire creative works at Assam House, New Delhi and the amphitheatre of Hotel Ashok, New Delhi. He has also been the artistic brain behind the Assam tableaus taken out during the Republic Day parade at New Delhi, from 2001-2005. He has been the art head of the team that represents Assam at the India International Trade Fair, from 2011. This artist has designed Dr Bhupen Hazarika’s statues at Lakhimpur, Sadia, and Bongaigaon, the statue of Lakshminath Bezbaroa, at Guwahati and the structure of Sukapha and Chilarai at North Lakhimpur.


He made his first Durga idol at Lakhimpur in 1975. With intricate Durga idols, that are unique and inventive in every way, he has been winning heart from across the state. Today, Nuruddin Ahmed is arguably the most talked about person in Guwahati, for his 100 feet tall bamboo structure of Goddess Durga that is all set to place the name of Assam in the Guinness Book of World Records. In his 7th year of association with the Bishnupur Puja committee, the excited artist said, “I am very happy about the kind of reaction and recognition the idol has been able to fetch. This work of mine is dedicated to the people of Assam.”


(Nuruddin Ahmed making the sculpture of Dr Bhupen Hazarika at Sadia)


In an unfortunate event, the idol, which was nearly 75% complete, collapsed due to a massive storm on 17th September. But that didn’t deter the confidence of the artist or his team. What followed thereafter was something that the city did not expect. Incessant hours of tireless work, determination to make the region shine and prayers of the people from across boundaries did wonders – the idol is being rebuilt. Ahmed said, “We took every possible safety measure. But the cyclone was not expected. However, we have re-built the structure and this time we have tied the joints with belts, so that the idol doesn’t shake in anyway.” Thanking the Bishnupur Puja Committee he said, “The committee has become an integral part of my life now.”


(Ganesh Idol made by Nuruddin Ahmed at the venue of Bishnupur Durga Puja, in 2014)


Everything you need to know about the 100 feet Durga:


• The pedestal on which the idol will be placed is of 10 feet height

• Nearly 5500-6000 bamboos used for the idol

• The bamboo has been procured from parts of Pathshala, Chaygaon, and Bijaynagar

• The bamboos comes under the category of Bhaluka Baah (a kind of bamboo found in Assam)

• Motifs of Saaloni, Jaapi, Boroxi designs have been crafted in the structure, keeping Assamese tradition intact

• Unlike common tradition, the idol will be draped in a Mekhela Chador and not a Saree.

• The idea behind the whole initiative is to promote bamboo craft worldwide which is an identity of Assam

• The idol has been registered for Guinness Book of World Records under the category of ‘Tallest Bamboo Structure’


(100 feet tall bamboo structure of Goddess Durga, Bishnupur, Guwahati crafted by Nuruddin Ahmed)


Not many cities are rich enough with talents like Nuruddin Ahmed. The more you hear, the more his contribution makes you feel proud. In a world when people are cutting off from tradition and culture, he’s someone with amazing magical skills and imagination. He is the pride of Assam!




1. Special Jury Award at India International Trade Fair, Pragati Maidan , New Delhi 2016

2. Silver Medal for Swaccha Bharat Abhiya in Assam Pavilion at India International Trade Fair , New Delhi - 2016

3. " Bhabendra Nath Saikia Award " by Awahan Theatre in Pathsala in 2016 

4. "Best Design Award" OTM Mumbai 2017

5. Gold Medal  in NE zone at India International Trade Fair , Pragati Maidan, New Delhi 2015

6. Gold Medal in India International Trade Fair , Pragati Maidan, New Delhi 2013

7. Gold Medal  in India International Trade Fair , Pragati Maidan, New Delhi 2013

8. Best Pavilion Award in India International Hand Woven Fair, Chennai, 2012

9. The Award Presented by Assam Government for Stage craft (1997-1998 State Award)

10. Second Prize in Republic Day Tableaux by Ministry of Defense [National award] 2003

11. Chamanlal Memorial Award [National Award]  2004-2005

12. Best Costume Designer by Assam Govt. (State Award)  1997-1998

13. Best Puja Pandal by Times Of India , Assam 2015

14. Best Puja Pandal by Radio o la la , Assam 2016

15. Saradiya Sanman - 2012

16. Times of India Saradia Sannman - 2014

17. Y’s Man Theatre Award (International) - 2004-2005

18. Lifetime Achievement Ekjute’s Theatre Group, Mumbai  - 2006

19. NEWART Players, Guwahati - 2005

20. Lifetime Achievement by Jyoti Rupa, Guwahati - 2006

21. The Award Presented by Assam Natya Samiti - 1995-1996, Assam Natya Samiti

22. The Award Presented by Assam Natya Samiti - 1996-1997, Award 1995-96, 1976-97                          

23. The Award Presented by Moonlight Media - 1997, 

24. The Award by Assam Shilpi Diwas Samiti Award -1997

25. The Award Presented by Assam Natya Samiti - 1997-1998

26. The Award Presented by Moonlight Media  - 1998

27. The Award by Guwahati Rangali Bihu Sanmilan  -1999

28. The Award by  Assam Natya Samiti  - 1999

29. The Award Presented by Moonlight Media  - 1999

30. The Award Presented by Moonlight Media  - 2000

31. The Award Presented by Moonlight Media  - 2001

32. The Award Presented by Moonlight Media  - 2002

33. The Award Presented by Moonlight Media  - 2003  

34. The Award Presented by Moonlight Media  - 1997 (Film Award)

35. The Award Presented by Moonlight Media - 2001 (Film Award)

36. The Award Presented by Moonlight Media  - 2002 (Film Award)

37. The Award Presented by Moonlight Media  - 2005

38. The Award Presented by Moonlight Media  - 2006 

39. Rodali Theatre Award - 2006

40. Y’s Man Theatre Award (International) - 2007

41. The Award Presented by Moonlight Media - 2007

42. Y’s Man Theatre Award (International) - 2008

43. Rodali Theatre Award - 2008

44. Rodali Theatre Award - 2010

45. Life Time Achievement Asom Sahitya Sabha and Assam Naitya Sanmilan - 2010

46. Lifetime Achievement Award by Assam Jatia Vidyalaya for Outstanding contribution in the field of arts and culture , 2015

47. Kala Ratna Bata Sannman  from Assam Sahitya Sabha - 2012

48. Life time Achievement award from Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra on Silpi Divas - 2010

49. Awarded the Holy Title of “HANSA NARAYAN” By “Sri Krishnaguru Ashram” Assam

50. Award Presented by Satra Mahasabha Assam in  - 2012

51. Award presented by  All Assam Student Unition in - 2013

52. Awarded the holy title “BAP”(True Disciple) By “Asom Satra Mahasabha” the premier organization to promote the socio-cultural heritage of Srimanta Sankardev.

53. Assam Sports and Cultural Award - 2014

54. Dr. Bhupen Hazarika Award - 2012

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