Dasara Doll Festival

Dolls during the Dasara festival at Mysore (Nada Habba as we call it in Mysore). Srishti Rajeev

Dolls during the Dusshera festival (dasara/Nada Habba as we call it in Mysore).

In the southern part of India, the festival of Navaratri is celebrated with a very interesting and unique tradition called Bombe Habba or Golu or Kolu (Kannada) or Bommala Koluvu (Telugu) or Bommai Kolu (Tamil) or simply Dasara dolls.

Legend has it that Goddess Durga waged war against the demon Mahishasura. In order to help her all the Gods and Goddesses gave her all their powers. As the Gods and Goddesses became powerless, they stood as statues. Durga triumphed over Mahishasura on the 10th day of the war, which is celebrated as Dasara/Dusshera. To pay respect to the self-sacrifice of those dieties the doll festival is observed by worshiping the Gods and Goddesses in the form of dolls. This custom is believed to be prevalent since the existence of the Vijayanagar kingdom.

The Doll festival keeps the tradition alive with active participation from children. The festival encourages keeping the craft of wooden and clay doll-making alive.

Dasara comes every year and the city is all lit up with postivity and festivities. The conversations around the dolls, where it was bought or who presented it on what occasion or what does it signify is never-ending.

Musings with a question. Which is your favourite festival and why? An emotion, a happy memory attached with it. Is it because of the new clothes, or because you read about it somewhere. Why is the more important question here? Think hard and rediscover why do you like a particular festival? On my side, I love Diwali because of the lit up neighbourhoods, when I walk by my house in the evening, it is spectacular.

References: https://www.karnataka.com/festivals/dasara-doll-festival/


This is a part of #WordlessWednesday


Author: Srishti Rajeev

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17 thoughts on “Dasara Doll Festival”

  1. Dear Sristi,

    Welcome to #WordlessWednesday and thank you so much for this beautiful, festive link up about Golu.
    Lovely decoration. Thank you for sharing the historical bits for the uninitiated.

    Lovely to have you join us. Hope to see more of you in the coming weeks.

    Love and cheer and Happy festivities.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely! My mom told me about the bombe habba as she grew up in bangalore and visited her friends during the festival. I didn’t know the story behind it.


  3. The dolls look lovely! Truly, the conversations around the dolls are really interesting. I listened to my friends tell me about every doll that was on display and when it was bought and how it looked new inspite of a few years in the household.

    I also love the fact that the clay and wood crafts are kept alive this way.


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