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Navratri Bommai Kolu ideas and How to create - Navratri Kolu Procedure

Golu or Kolu, doll arrangement, is an essential part of Navratri and Dasara celebrations in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. In 2024, Navratri Golu begins on October 3 and ends on October 12. The Bommai Golus are proud possessions of a family and they are handed down through generations. Apart from the traditional Navratri Bommai Kolu display, nowadays there is an emphasis on Golu themes with different ideas.

Majority of the Bommai Golu displayed in homes opt for the traditional method of display. Kolu – the royal court of Goddess Durga is created 3, 5, 7, 9 or 11 steps. The most important dolls in the kolu arrangement are the Raja-rani or the marapachi bommais. These are expensive dolls and a set of them is found in all traditional households. Another important idol is that of Goddess Saraswati. A Kalash is also placed along with the Golu.

Golu ideas and How to Create

Stories from Hindu Mythology continue to be the favorite theme during Navarathri Golu. Community Golu and displays by organizations also opt for various other themes - current issues, social message or something related with their field of activity.

With kolu sets with different themes readily available in market, many people also opt for it in their homes. Each year various companies come out with different Kolu sets mostly related to Hindu mythology.

Some young men and women prefer to be creative and opt for something unique.
If you are planning to create a unique Navarathri Bommai Golu:
  • First decide on a theme or select a story from mythology.
  • Draw a sketch of the Golu theme in paper or create one in Computer.
  • Mark all the dolls, backgrounds and props needed.
  • It would be wise to hunt for dolls after deciding on a theme or story.
  • While selecting a theme make sure that it does not exceed the budget.
  • Also make sure that the dolls are available in the market or you can create it in a short period.
  • Depending upon your theme, you will also need backgrounds and other props like forest, trees, ashrams, animals etc.
Know Your Limitations
  • A simple and well-defined Bommai Kolu will be more attractive than a crowded Kolu, which does not convey any idea.
  • Don’t jump into creating a Bommai Kolu by being impressed by a professional Kolu arrangement or one done by a person with artistic sense.
  • Some of the Golu arrangements that might have impressed you are the product of years of practice and the dolls might be part of traditional collection.
  • Therefore know your limitations in creating props and backgrounds before deciding on a theme.
If you are creating Kolu for the first time:
Decide on a mythological theme and then hunt in the market for dolls.
It would be easy to get dolls associated with Hindu stories. Even you might stumble across backgrounds and props.

Golu Ideas and How To
Apart from the mythological subjects, you can opt for festival themes, karakattam, various dance performances, concert, market, village life etc.

You can also use modern toys to create themes like olympics, cricket, IT related themes, Harry Potter or any other famous stories like Cinderella. Zoo, town, park are some of the usual themes with readily available props in market.

Look around in your home and neighborhood, you will find several props and ideas. Props like forest, trees, ponds, paddy field etc can be created easily at home.

For paddy field, take a flat basin fill it with some mud and sow wheat. Wheat grows quickly. While placing the tray in Golu hide the tray cleverly, so that only the green part is seen. Ponds too can be created in similar fashion. Trees can be done on cardboards and thermocol.

If you are interested in vegetable carving, depending upon your theme you can make props using melon, carrot and other such vegetables.