eNarada, Bengaluru, October 3, 2016
Mysuru and Dasara are inseparable! In fact, the grandeur of Mysuru Dasara is such that many wait for a whole year to visit the heritage city for a glimpse of our rich culture! Now, one may need not travel all the way to Mysuru and instead head to Malleswaram to witness the Dasara festivity.
It has been the golden jubilee year of doll festival at Mr R Sampath Kumar’s house in Malleswaram. (9/1, 13th Main, 16th Cross, Malleshwarm west, Bengaluru- 560055 Phone: 9448065577)
For the last five decades, Sampath Kumar’s family has been keeping dolls during Dasara festival and it has been passed on from one generation to another.
The family believes that it is very necessary to keep the rich tradition of south India alive through these doll exhibitions which are popularly known as Bombe/Golu/Kolu Habba, Bommai Kolu in Tamil or Bommai Kolu in Telugu. The doll festival begins on the first day of Dasara and kept till the Vijayadashami day. As this is an 11-day festival this year, Mr Sampath Kumar’s family is welcoming visitors on all days that come in large numbers to witness the cute dolls. Sampath Kumar, who is a businessman, has arranged the dolls in the nine-step platform.
TIER 1: It features the Pattada Gombe and is usually dedicated to Goddess. The first tier dolls narrate the story as to how Goddess Durga derived energy from the other goddesses before she could slay the demon Mahishasura. The story goes thus; when Durga was about to wage a battle with Mahishasura, gods and goddesses gave all the powers to her and became powerless as statues. Hence, Dasara is celebrated to worship all those Gods and Goddesses in the form of dolls. Interestingly, the Pattada Gombe dolls are 75-year old dolls.
TIER 2: In this set, one can see the dolls that tell us the story of Garuda carrying Lord Venkateshwara Swamy. It also has a set of Ashwamedha yaga story.
TIER 3: The dolls here tell us the story of Parvati Kalyana and we can see dolls depicting Lords Muruga and Ganesha. The entire sequence has been so beautifully placed that it tells all the finer details of Parvati Kalyana. It also tells us the story of Rukumini-Pandurgana of Pandarapur.
TIER 4: As we move up the row, we find the story of Kalinga mardana, dolls of Yashoda and Krishna and significance of Satyanarayana Vrata.
TIER 5: During the Dasara, we offer pooja to Goddess Durga and hence the fifth row has been dedicated to dolls that depict “Nava Durgeyaru.”
TIER 6: This is one of the unique rows where in the Kondapalli toys are used to tell the story of Vishnu’s Dashavatara. (Kondapally toys are made of wood in Kondapalli of Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh. These toys have a tradition of more than four centuries and are said to have migrated from Rajasthan in the 16th century to Kondappali and claims their origin to Muktharishi, a sage endowed with skills in arts and crafts by Lord Shiva.)
TIER 7: This row shows how culturally rich the Indian weddings were in the yesteryears. Unlike the current weddings (which almost gets over in a day), the rituals used to go on for weeks and this row dolls tell us the great Indian wedding story.
TIER 8: Wedding can never be complete without music and this row is dedicated to all the Indian traditional drums and musicians who used to perform. There are also dolls that depict the significance of Nagara Panchami.
TIER 9: The finale row is dedicated to Nadaswaram, a wind instrument that is considered to be among the world’s loudest non-brass acoustic instruments. The row also features a Shetty Angadi. In earlier times, Shetty Angadi or a shop used to act like a super market where one can buy a variety of items.