If the Durga Puja tradition is to be strictly followed, the idol of Goddess Durga should be made from pure clay and should only be decorated with natural paints. But today majority of the Durga Puja idols are made from Plaster of Paris and painted using chemical paints. Another popular material used is paper mache. There are also plastic idols but are rarely used. A new entrant to the list of material used to make Durga idols is fiber glass.
The advantages are that the idol is lighter in weight and is easy to transport. Chances of breaking are minimal. It can be molded to look like clay idol. If the Durga idol is not to be immersed in water at the end of the festivities, then it can be reused.
Fibre glass Durga Idols are not meant to be immersed in water.
Today, Fiber glass Durga idols are the costliest and a medium sized idol will cost around $6000. Minimum sized clay Durga idol will cost around $1500.
Always prefer Clay Durga Puja idol painted with natural paints. It is environment friendly and is the right tradition.