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The Dasara Golu Tradition
Bommai Golu (Tamil)/ Bomma Golu/ Dasara Golu / Bombe Habba (Kannada) is a doll and figurine display festival celebrated during the festival of Navratri in Southern India. Traditionally, it is the creation of an assembly of Goddess Durga containing a multitude of idols of gods, goddesses, men, animals, businessmen, children and the day-to-day life that signifies the richness and diversity of culture and heritage (Bommai means doll, and Golu means the display or artistic display). The dolls are adored through ritual worship and offerings during the celebrations.
The tradition of making the Bommai Golu starts with setting up of 3 to 11 steps or mostly 9 steps each step representing the nine days of Navratri. The steps are then covered with decorative cloth to keep the dolls for display. The ninth day is celebrated with Saraswathi Pooja – worshipping the goddess of knowledge and learning. Books and musical instruments are offered to the goddess along with the Golu. On the tenth and last day, the Golu dolls are symbolically put to sleep and packed the next day to be brought out of the boxes the following year.
You can also rekindle interest in this tradition if you don’t already display the Golu! Kids can help you build the platform to arrange the dolls and to bedeck the “Pattada Gombe” (Raja Rani dolls) and other dolls! You can even get your kids to make their own Golu Dolls!
Here are the best places to view the Dasara Golu display this Navarathri:
Dhaatu brings to you the 23rd edition of the Dhaatu Navaratra Mahotsava from October 10th – November 4th, 2018. Do not miss this grand exhibition of over 5000 traditional Indian dolls, evening performances, and storytelling. Entry is free!
The Dasara doll exhibition is an annual event at the Jnana Vijnanapeetha School. This year they have displayed dolls in two halls. The dolls tell the stories of the Ramayana, the Mahabharatha and Sri Krishna. In addition, there are dancers, musicians, freedom fighters, Indian philosophers, saints. Special attraction for kids – a beautiful forest, a village and a park! And the most popular Dasara Jambo Savari- the colourful procession of Mysore.
Excitement spreads and curiosity increases among the children and parents to see new dolls arranged in new ways! Check out the display at Untitled Space, who want to kindle children’s interest in this tradition.
Celebrating the tradition of the doll festival as part of Karnataka’s cultural heritage, Ganjam Mantapa will be hosting an exhibition of exquisite dolls to preserve and nurture the crafts and cultural traditions of the land. Discover the 32 stories of Vikramaditya & Betala that come alive through dolls from 9th – 14th October 2018, between 11 am – 8 pm, at Ganjam Mantapa, Basavanagudi.
The only walk of its kind in Bangalore organized by Bengaluru By Foot, which takes guests to view Dasara dolls at three different places in Basavanagudi. Come, know more about the different displays, “Pattada Gombe” (Raja Rani dolls) as well as other rituals associated with these dolls. Covers Dhaatu and Bimba Art Hut too!
Bimba, the art hut is another such creative place which emphasizes attention to detail. Watch the ‘Rasalok – A still theater of miniature art’ using dolls/puppets along with the enchanting storytelling by Deepika Dorai with her captivating voice narration or rather we shall call it her creation. A traditional Golu is also on display!
The dolls exhibition at Bombe Mane is an expo that displays a wide variety of dolls. They have been organizing Bombe Mane since 2005, putting on display, colorful dolls from places across the country, with special inclusions every year!
Do you know of any more Dasara Golu displays that we must see! Let us know. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for a Dasara Camp for your children? Click here.