After two posts of temples of the Goddess, it is time for some Bommai Kolus. The first one this year is from my mom's place in Thane....
A Bommai Kolu or Golu is an arrangement of dolls on steps during the nine days of the Navaratri festival. The steps represent the our aspiration to attain oneness with the divine. The lower levels of the steps represent us - humans and our daily activities. The higher steps are for higher levels of divinity.. such as demi gods or scenes from the epics on the lower levels, and the main deities on the highest levels.
|The Golu in its entirety|
|The first step with people and household items|
|The Second Step - with Dakshinamurthy in the centre surrounded by the Dashavatars of Lord Vishnu, Ganesha, |
Rama , and other Gods
|The third step with different forms of Lord Vishnu - Venkateswara, Panduranga, and Krishna|
|The Fourth Step - with the 8 forms of Lakshmi - Ashta Lakshmi|
|The Fifth Step - with a beautiful idol of Krishna, the idols of Goddesses giving him company|
|The Kalash or Kalasam is the most important part of the golu. It is through the Kalasam that the goddess is invoked into our attempt to replicate her creations|
These steps are also a tribute or a reminder of the creations of the Devi, who is the mother of all humanity, and therefore, in many houses, you can also see some other arrangements.. either based on a story, or a theme, or maybe just a scene.... around the steps. This not only gives us an outlet for our creativity, but also involves the rest of the family in the celebrations, which usually involve mostly the women.
This year, my mother and aunt decided on a rural theme - showing the ancient methods of worship..
So, here is a village, (made with a bit of help from Samhith), at the foothills of a mountain, with a river, lake, and fields... And here and there you can see placards mentioning how people used to worship nature.. the mountain, the river, the trees, and fire.
Here are some more dolls... placed around the room due to lack of space on the steps....
|A cricket set|
|A North-Indian style wedding - |
the bride and groom are handmade dolls, made by my aunt
|And a South-Indian style one|
|Manipuri Dancers - made by my aunt|
|An old couple with vessels to fill any house!|
|And some newer appliances too!|
This is my favourite this year...
|Originally dolls representing Gauri, which we buy for the Gauri Puja the day before Ganesh Chaturthi, here are some in a row, with a lamp in front of each!|
And this, according to me, is the best exhibit this year... an old image of Lord Venkateswara printed on cloth has been given a new lease of life by my aunt, embellished with stones and sequins!
This photo doesn't really do justice to the beautiful work of art. If you want a better look, go, visit them!