Monday, September 26, 2011

Golu -Festival of South India

The Golu festival of South India is marked with a beautiful display of dolls in the homes.This has got numerous names such as Navarathri, Golu,Dussehra etc.But the "golu" of south India has
many features similar to that of Japan. The dolls are usually handed down from mother to daughter, often the dolls on display being family heirlooms handed down over generations. It is also a doll festival exclusively by the women

The dolls are only decorated during these ten days but the collection of dolls may have started over years. These dolls can be very simple to very complicated ones as per ones likes. Every year women enthusiastically arrange these dolls as per their tastes. They either remodify the existing dolls with some new additions or they add couple of new dolls to the existing stacks to decorate the plank every year.

These Navratri dolls are arranged in several tiers. Maximum no of tiers in which dolls are arranged are 9 depending on time and space constraints.

Steps 1-3: These steps are dedicated to the Gods. So all the different idols of
various Gods are arranged here.

Steps 4-6: The next three steps are devoted to saints like Sai Baba, great men like Swami Vivekananda, demigods and even national leaders who have sacrificed their lives for the country.

Steps 7: Various sets such as the marriage set and pongal set, which signify the various human activities, are placed on the seventh step

Steps 8: The eighth step is devoted to various businesses and crafts, say the Chettiar dolls (equivalent of Sethji)—a businessman and his wife

step 9: Dolls of animals, birds, reptiles and other forms of evolution are also kept on this step.

This is the usual way to worship all the three forms of shakthi during these 9 days
On the first three days Durga is customarily worshipped. Durga is the one who removes our evil tendencies. Mahisha means buffalo. Is not there a buffalo in our minds? We do have the qualities of laziness, darkness, ignorance and inertia. Durga Devi’s killing of the Mahisha demon is, symbolically, the destruction of these qualities within us that is difficult to destroy.
By worshipping Her, we invoke that divine Power within us to destroy our animalistic tendencies.

For knowledge to dawn within us, our minds have to be prepared. The mind must be pure, concentrated and single-pointed. This purification of the mind is obtained by worshipping Lakshmi Devi. We think Lakshmi represents only material wealth. Real wealth is self-discipline and the values of love, kindness, respect and sincerity. By practising these values, our mind becomes purified. Only they help us preserve our material wealth. Our wealth of virtues is our true Lakshmi. The six forms of wealth are calmness of mind, self-control, self-withdrawal, forbearance, faith and single pointedness. Our goal is victory over the mind which comes only when the mind is prepared and this mental preparation is the symbolism of the Lakshmi Puja.

Victory over the mind is gained only through knowledge and through understanding.
Saraswathi represents this highest knowledge of the Self.

Thus we see that the theme of the entire Vedas is reflected in the Navaratri festival.
Purify the mind and remove all negativities.
Cultivate positive virtues.
Gain spiritual knowledge and transcend limitations

The Golus vary in theme from house to house - from the elaborate, extravagant ones to the simple, traditional and artistic ones. No Golu display is however complete without a zoo or a garden,.Here I have posted few of the photos you can view more in the golu movies on the right side.

Happy Navarathri to all!


  1. Anandi - your golu looks superb . The explanations is simple and crisp. may The Goddess shower her blessings to you and your family. Happy navrathri

  2. The mahabalipuram set is superb and very well presented

  3. How beautiful your golu is ! so much work has gone into it. I love your craft
    fair. you have such a beautiful collection of miniatures.Your animals are also so lovely. Mahabalipuram scene you have truly done justice to it.Your house must look so beautiful. Happy navarathri Ananthi.

  4. Hi Anandhi

    Beautiful Golu Bhommas

  5. Anandhi.. your golu is the best I've ever seen.. Simply amazing.. You've done a fabulous job!!

  6. Very beautiful golus. You prepared them beautifully. In andhra we called golu as Bommala Koluvu and usually during Sankranthi (pongal) and Navarathri times these Bommala Koluvu arranged in andhra.

    You have great skill in preparing arts and crafts. It is a God's gifit to you. Please continue your passion and create many more crafts.

    On last sunday i am presented my Third Seminar on Indian Heritage and Culture to young children. In this seminar i am sharing my paintings and other collections relating to Indian Heritage and explaining children about various aspects of our Heritage and Culture through my collections. Children are eagerly participated in my seminar and they clarified their doubts about our glorious heritage.

    Please look into my Third Seminar on Indian Heritage post and share your valuable and inspirational comment for the same.


Thankyou for your lovely comments


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