Wednesday, October 5, 2016


In Tamil Bomai Kolu means Divine Presence. Bommala Koluvu in Telugu means Court of Toys and Bombe Habba in Kannada means Doll Festival. is part of Dasara festival where young girls and women display dolls, figurine, court life, everyday scenes along with the divine presence of the Goddesses Saraswati, Parvati and Laxmi in the Tamil, Kannada and Andhra Telugu households during Navaratri or The Nine nights.
On the first day of Navaratri, following Ganapathi pooja, a welcoming ritual is performed for goddesses Saraswati, Parvatiand Lakshmi by Hindu ritual called Kalasa Avahanam which is performed by an elderly male or female of the family. This is then followed by building a rack of odd-numbered shelves of Kolu (or Padi) (usually 3, 5, 7, 9, or 11), set up using wooden planks. After the Kolu has been covered with fabric it is then adorned with various dolls, figurines and toys according to their size, with the deities at the top.
The Kolu is predominantly displayed with depictions from Puranas, court life, royal procession, ratha yatra, weddings, everyday scenes, miniature kitchen utensils, anything a little girl would have played with. Most of the wooden toys displayed come from traditional toy-makers in Etikoppaka, Kondapalli, Kinnaland Channapatna. It is a traditional practice to have wooden figurines of the bride and groom together, called 'Marapacchi Bommai' or 'Pattada Gombe', usually made of sandalwood, teak or rosewood and decorated with new clothes each year before being displayed on the Kolu. In southern India, bride is presented with 'Marapacchi Bommai' during the wedding by her parents as part of wedding trousseau to initiate the yearly tradition of 'Navaratri Golu' in her new home with her husband. These dolls come as couples dressed in their wedding attire, depicting husband and wife symbolizing prosperity and fertility and the start of the bride's Gollu collection. Display figurines are passed on from one generation to another as heirloom.
In the evenings, women within the neighborhood invite each other to visit their homes to view the Kolu displays; they also exchange gifts and sweets. A Kuthuvilakku lamp is lit, in the middle of a decorated Rangoli, while devotional hymns and shlokas are chanted. After performing the puja, the food items that have been prepared are offered to the Goddess and then to the guests.
On the 9th day Saraswati Puja, special pujas are offered to goddess Saraswati, the divine source of wisdom and enlightenment. Books and musical instruments are placed in the puja and worshipped as a source of knowledge.
The 10th day, Vijayadasami, is the most auspicious day of all. It was the day on which evil was finally destroyed by good. It marks a new and prosperous beginning. New ventures started on this day are believed to flourish and bring prosperity. Kids often start tutoring on this day to have a head start in their education.
Later, on the evening of Vijayadasami, one of the doll from the display is symbolically put to sleep, and the Kalasa is moved a bit towards North to mark the end of that year's Navaratri golu. Prayers are offered to thank the Lord for the successful completion of that year's Kolu and with hope of a successful one the next year. Then the Kolu is dismantled and packed up for the next year.
Source - Google

Monday, September 5, 2016


Did you know there are 250 temples of Ganesha in Japan.
In Japan, #Ganesha is known as 'Kangiten', the God of fortune and the harbinger of happiness, prosperity and good.
An Oxford publication claims that Ganesha was worshipped in the early days in Central Asia and other parts of the globe.
Ganesha statues have been found in Afghanistan, Iran, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Mongolia, Japan, Indonesia, Brunei, Bulgaria, Mexico and other Latin American countries. It means the cult of Ganesha was prevalent all over the world in ancient times.
Ganesha in Europe, Canada and the USA:
Ganesha's idol and paintings are exhibited in all the important museums and art galleries of all the European countries especially in the UK, Germany, France and Switzerland. Ganesha idols and paintings(as goodluck charm) are also present in thousands of houses/offices of successful business/writers/artists in all the European countries and in Canada and the USA. Recently a figure of Ganesha was unearthed in a village near Sofia, Bulgaria. Like Indians, the Romans worshipped Ganesha before any work was begun.
Irish believe in Ganesha luck:
The embassy of Ireland at New Delhi became the first European embassy to invoke the blessings of Ganesha by installing a statue of Ganesha at the main entrance of the embassy.
Silicon Valley in USA selects Ganesha as the presiding Deity of cyberspace technology:
“Ganesha is the God of knowledge and Ganesha's vehicle is the mouse and, as you know, for software engineers the mouse is the vehicle that they use to take their ideas and innovations from one place to the other.”
Hence it was decided by the computer industry association to select Ganesha as the presiding Deity of Silicon Valley.
Ganesha on Greek coin:
Early images of an elephant headed Deity, including those on an Indo-Greek coin and elsewhere, dating between the first and third centuries BC, represent Ganesha as the God Vinayaka.
Indonesia Currency notes:
One of the Indonesian currency notes carries the picture of Ganesha.
Vedic origin of Ganesha:
10,000 yr old secret of success.
Devotees of Ganesha make reference to his Vedic origin which is around 10,000 years old to push his antecedents back in time.
The Vedas have invoked him as 'namo Ganebhyo Ganapati' (Yajurveda, 16/25), or remover of obstacles, Ganapati, we salute you.
The Mahabharata has elaborated on his personal appearance and Upanishads on his immense power. “Scholars say artifacts from excavations in Luristan and Harappa and an old Indo-Greek coin from Hermaeus, present images that remarkably resemble Ganesha”.

(“Robert Brown in his Book “Ganesha: Studies of an Asian God”: State University of New York Albany)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Guess what is breeding inside these Ganesh idols

Moving away from traditional Plaster of Paris (PoP) and papier-mache idols, a Lower Parel resident has sculpted unique eco-friendly Ganpati idols that transform into plants on pouring water — a symbolic immersion.
With the intention to reduce beach litter after immersions, Dattadri Kothur, 30, started making such idols last year with red soil, organic fertilisers and shadu clay filled with holy basil (tulsi) or ladyfinger seeds.
Made atop earthen pots with a base of red soil with size ranging between 12 and 20 inches, each idol is filled with 15 seeds.
“After witnessing the haphazard state of beaches every year especially Girgaum Chowpatty that is littered with broken idol parts, I wanted to create an idol that gives something back to worshippers. After a lot of brainstorming, I realised that there could be nothing better than nature itself,” said Kothur, who calls the idols, Tree Ganesha.
During last year’s Ganeshotsav festival, over 2 lakh idols were immersed in city beaches that left 3,059 metric tonnes of waste, which is roughly the amount being sent to the Deonar dumping ground each day.
Kothur said for his idols the immersion is done by pouring water over the idol. “It takes about seven to eight days for the idol to be completely dissolved in the 18x5 inch pots. However, seeds begin sprouting by day five and within a month, the plant is ready,” he said, adding that the holy basil and ladyfinger seeds were chosen because they grow the fastest.
The finished idols adorn a reddish-brown pallet owing to the mix of red soil and shadu clay. The sculptor uses only natural colour to decorate the idols’ eyes. This year, the bookings for the idols started on July 5. After an overwhelming response, he was forced to close bookings in three days.
“I was getting a minimum of 200 calls per day,” he said adding, “We are in the process of making 400 idols. As of now, close to 70 have been completed. After receiving mails from Mauritius, US and all over the country, I have planned over 5,000 idols for next year.”
The 12-inch and 15-inch idols have been priced at Rs 1,800 and Rs 2,200, while the 20-inch idol costs Rs 3,000.
Officials from the state pollution control board said such home-made eco-friendly idols were the need of the hour for saving the city beaches.
“Innovative ideas such as Tree Ganesha will help preserve the cultural aspect of the festival and at the same time protect the environment. However, the survival rate of the plants and the amount of water the idol would require to be completely dissolved needs to be checked,” said PK Mirashe, acting member secretary, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board.