Navaratri Festive Food Round Up - Photos of Dasara, Doll House,Rangoli and others

Trust all readers had happy time celebrating Navaratri/Dasra. Comments and e-mails recieved tell me that many of you are waiting to see Mysore Dasara here with me and few more are waiting to see various dishes cooked up fellow bloggers, and many more to learn Navaratri/Dasara celebrations in various parts of India and world me :)

Festivals adds color to life. Any festival for that matter, be it Baloon Festival of Albuquerque, Haloween of Americas, Christmas, Eid, Diwali .......many more. Celebrations need name and when it is celebrated in the memory of victory of good over evil, we hindus call it Dushera/Navaratri.

I would love to start this festive round up from Mysore and taking you to different parts of India/World according to the entries received by me from fellow bloggers.

Legend goes that Mysore has been named after the demon Mahishasura, who was slain here by the Goddess Durga (Incidentally the name Mysore is derived from this demon 'Mahishasura') Therefore 'Vijaydashami' is celebrated symbolically as the win of good over evil.
In September 1805, the Wodeyars started holding a special durbar ('Royal Assembly') for members of the royal family, palace officials, royal priests, important citizens and Europeans. Commoners also participated in the durbar. The festival has become a tradition of the royal household and reached its zenith during the rule of Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar (1902-1940). The Palace and other important buildings are illuminated. Cultural by famous artists, Literary programs, Poet's meet and Sports, Wrestling,Food Festival, Film Festival are some of the events, arranged in the Palace.

Let me share few of the pictures shared by my Sis-in-law who is a non-blogger. She got these pictures from a colleague and both loved to share these pictures with all..

Mysore Palace :
Royal Throne of Mysore :
King of Mysore (File Picture..)
Dasara Ambari
The Goddess Chamundeshwari is worshipped by the royal couple and other invitees before it is taken around in the procession, which is accompanied by colourful tableaux,dance groups, music bands. Decorated elephants, horses and camels form a part of the procession which starts from the Mysore Palace and culminates at a place called Bannimantap where the banni tree (Prosopis spicigera) is worshipped. There will be the procession with the 12 Dasara jumbos route from Mysore Palace to Bannimantap twice a day. The pomp and show carries on for month in the city.
Chamundeshwari Temple, Mahishasura Statue and Nandi
2008-Dasara Ambari Photo from MysoreNext . Don't worry if you have missed 2008 Dasara. Just Visit the photo gallery of Mysore Next!
Dasara Utsava Committee has a live recording of the event just for its audience who were unable to visit Mysore for reasons. Watch Vijayadashami celebrations, Ambari Procession Videos on Mysore Dasara -2008 (Click on Mysore Dasara 2008) The webpage also has some of the best pictures of Mysore Dasara.
Mysore market is full of life at that time, so, my S-I-L has sent another picture of Market :
Well, few of them can be enjoyed virtually, but I bet once cannot enjoy Dasara Exhibition virtually. Shopping and women..? my hands get itchy atleast so I miss that part very much :( I hope they keep those stalls till December :) From Happala to Mirchi bondas, Gobi Manchurian to paani puri, shopping of various things under the sun is fun! We sometimes visit exhibition twice or thrice, once to eat, once to shop and ...list goes on. If you have not visited Mysore, Dasara time is the best to visit :) can see Palace at night time with lights for a month which is not the case in other months of the year. So much to shop, various activities like Bharatanatyam to Classical Music by famous artists, Films, shopping everything in one city isn't it fabulous?

If Mysore boasts a grandeur, Bengal takes equal share in Durga Pooja Celebrations. Indrani of Appyayan shares rituals, and celebrations in Bengal. Pay a visit there and you would enjoy the way Bengalis celebrate Durga Pooja.
She says.."Sindur Khela" is a major part of Dashami puja. Married women first apply vermillion to goddess before she is immersed and take her blessings and then they apply to each other.
"Dashami, the last day of the puja, when she starts on her journey back to her husband's place in the mountain of Kailash. With a heavy heart bengalis immerse the clay idol of goddess in the sacred Ganges saying her goodbye and start counting days for the next year when 'Maa' will come again to us"

From West to East, North to South of India, our culture is diverse, so are the celebrations .......
Purva of Purva's Daawat says.."Being Gujarati Navratri has always been special, Gujaratis will immerse themselves in Navratri and Dussehra celebrations with all-night dandia dances as we combine religion and devotion with recreation and fun. This is when Gujaratis young and old come on the streets in their traditional attire in a riot of colour. Chaniya Choli (Ghagra Choli) the long flowing skirt worn with a flowing 'odhni' or long stole, is the traditional costume worn on the occasion. Chaniya Cholis are bright in colour with beautiful embroidery and mirror work. Men wear the kedia, a high waist top".
A stack of Pots called 'Garbis/ Garbo' are painted with attractive designs and with diyas (lights) kept inside. These Garbis are ceremoniously placed in all houses.Girls place these Grabis on their head and play 'Garba' the most popular women's folk dance on Nine days of Navratri. Garba is performed before the 'aarti' as devotional performance in honour of the goddess.

Priyanka sends in a Dusshera tableaux photo of Allahabad, the city of 'Sangam' Priyanka shares her nostalgic memories of her childhood with her dadi "i remember dadi used to wake us up early in the morning at 5 am to get ready to watch tableaus...with sleepy eyes we sisters ,all cousions used to cram ourselves in the car and used to queue on the streets to have a glimpse of the colourful chowkis,slowly with time we were replaced by our younger cousions as always Dadi was always excited, whenever Dusshera is around i always remember these fond memories,..which i gonna cherish forever,...."

Ramlila, the enactment of the story of Lord Rama is believed to have been started by great Saint Tulsidas. The Ramcharitmanas, written by him till today forms the basis of Ramlila performances. In some places, Ramlila is associated with the Vijayadashmi celebrations in late Sept. & early Oct. and also with Ramnavami, the birthday of Lord Rama. The Ramlila performance evokes a festive atmosphere & enables observance of religious rites. It is also rich in performance crafts such as costume jewellery, masks, headgear, make-up and decoration.

Pallavi of All things Yummy
shares a unique festival called "Batukamma"
which is celebrated just before Dasara. "Batukamma is unique to Telangana region and it is undoubtedly an icon of cultural identity for Telanganites. This festival is not celebrated else where, though there are some known instances of festivals celebrated in association with water and flowers, none of them resemble this one" says a webpage which gives a good information about Batukamma festival.
Here comes Pallavi's Batukamma (a floral arrangement) from US. She and her friends celebrated it in US.
She has also sent us here Rangolis, take a look at them. House looks soo good with those rangolis in front of the door!

Dibs and Chitra
of Chitraamma's Kitchen have very nicely written about 'Kolu' or doll house. They say "... various types of dolls made of mud are show cased on nine steps constructed for the purpose. This is to illuminate the fact that the diverse creations are all made up of the one and the same element". Your visit to their post is worthwhile especially if you are looking for a detailed explanation of 'kolu' 'gombe mane' or doll house which is popularly displayed in many houses of Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Andra Pradesh and some parts of Kerala.

This is their doll house for us...

Easy of Simple Indian Food
has sent her beautiful 5 step Kolu for the event. Check her post here
Many fellow bloggers know EC's creative blog. She sent us rangoli painted on plastic sheets using acrylic paints here. One of her rangolis is called Hrudaya Kamala Padma/Hridaya Kamalam Kolam. I am not sure whether EC knows this.
My grandmother drew this rangoli in front of godess Lakshmi and a lamp is lit in the center. I always did the honors of drawing it on a sheet of paper and laminating it for her. Old hands could not draw everyday, so she found a clever alternative ;) Lotus denotes Goddess Lakshmi, the unfolding of life, the heart or the wheel. A detailed explanation "on understanding Kolam designs" can be found here . I never knew there is a complicated algebra/statistics behind rangoli : ) but this was interesting to learn. Here is how Gift Siromoney and R.Chandrasekaran explains the method to draw rangoli :

This is what I call share to learn from and through festivals. I learnt that few homes worship Shakthi during Navratri by drawing 9 different types of rangolis on different days.
9 types of rangoli are made at home for each day.

Day 1: Rangoli is made with dots
Day 2: Rangoli is made with squares
Day 3: Rangoli is made with flowers (lotus, rose etc)
Day 4: Rangoli is made with steps (like gollu puja)
Day 5: Rangoli is made with birds
Day 6: Rangoli is made with one of the names of Shakti
Day 7: Rangoli is made with Vittarani (designs from the palm of the Goddess's hands, like shanka, flowers etc)
Day 8: Rangoli patterns with the trishul (trident) she holds in her hand
Day 9: Rangoli is made with Hridaya Kamalam (Lotus of her heart)

Here is a interesting site for Kolam/Rangoli. The website says "The colorful kolam tradition dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization (2500 B.C). Kolams were often drawn with coarse rice flour since it served as a food source to nature's creatures like ants and crows. Rice flour is seen as an offering to Lakshmi, the goddess of rice and wealth. The goddess has the power to attract prosperity and to prevent poverty from entering the home"

Mangala, a non-blogger has sent us here fantastic display of dolls from Singapore. She invited me to her house to view her doll house and also treated us with yummy food. Friendship through blogging yielded a yummy reward :).

in here words ...
"Bommai Kolu or Bommala Koluvu is the artistic display of dolls by women during Navarathri and Dusshera in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and among certain communities in Kerala. In 2008, Navaratri begins on September 30. The dolls, called Kollu or Golu, represents the durbar or assembly of Goddess Durga. This assembly is held just before Mother Goddess ventures on her mission to slay Mahishasura, the buffalo-headed demon. Therefore when depicted along with the 'kolu,' Goddess Durga is also referred as Mahishasura-mardini.
The Navratri or Dasara kolu is displayed on stairs created from wood. The number of steps depends on the availability of the dolls. The maximum number is nine – representing the nine days of Navratri. Usually, the steps erected are even numbers – 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 or 11.
There are no hard and fast rules for arranging the dolls. Nowadays, the arrangement depends on the availability of dolls. In most places, the entire nine steps will be filled with statues of various gods and goddesses in Hindu pantheon. For some, the Navratri Kolu is a simple arrangement of various deities in three steps.
The topmost three steps are dedicated to various gods and goddesses. In some areas, people place a 'Purna Kumbham' on the topmost step.
The next three steps – 4, 5 and 6 – are dedicated to Gurus, saints, religious peolloected info.rsonalities and other highly respected figures in the country and world.
The seventh step is dedicated to various social activities and festivals. People depict marriages and important festivals in this step.
Business, crafts and other economic activities are depicted in the eighth step. Creative women depict a buzzing market place and other activities.
The ninth step is dedicated to dolls made of wood. Dolls of men, women, children, animals and birds are placed in this step.
During Bommai Kolu, the entire neighborhood, friends and relatives gather in a house and sing bhajans dedicated to Goddess Durga. Special sweets are prepared during the period.
On the Vijayadashami day (the tenth day), the dolls are taken out.
The topmost three steps are dedicated to various gods and goddesses. "

Another non-blogger from Mysore (my sis-in-law's ) friend has sent the picture of her doll house :

Akash and I enjoyed displaying his toys and other little god and godess figurines that we had here in Singapore. I did not follow any order for arranging it as I was doing it for the first time. Here is our doll house for you :
Smitha another Mysorean at heart and living miles away from Mysore misses her pattada bombe very much. I absolutely fell in love with her royal dolls.
She adds "Dasara is my favorite festival, not only because of all the dolls -Bombe mane but also because of 9 different sweets-savory prasadas that is made as offerings each day. My grand mother used to make the two different prasada-offerings each day of Navratri one for the morning pooja the other for evening pooja. It used to be fun to go be eating so many goodies. Back during our school days, Dasara vacations always started with the festival. So no school, lots to goodies to eat, going to temples each evening and eat some more prasadas there and return home to blissful sleep dreaming of my grandmother's kitchen what more could we ask for!!!" Smitha we all miss Dasara for same reason :P eating thindi and wearing new clothes...and roam around with amma and grandmothers....
She has sent her toned down version of bombe mane from US for our festive celebrations...
We may be miles away from home but festivals brings us closer..and virtually it is great to celebrate it...

Did you all notice a similarity in the last 4 pics of Mysore (Karnataka) side doll house?
They all display a pair of pattada gombe (royal dolls). Pattada Gombe is displayed as a respect to the royal family of Mysore who initiated the celebration of Navaratri/Dasara in grand scale. This information was shared by one of my blog reader. Thank you sir/madam.

These were the photo entries of the Navaratri Festive Food Event. Please join me in part 2 for all yummy dishes that fellow bloggers had cooked for godess Durga.
I hope you all enjoyed reading and watching pictures as much as I enjoyed bloghoping, surfing and writing it.


Indian Khana said...

That's a wonderful roundup Lakshmi...looks authentic and colourful. Thanks for hosting the event and doing these lovely roundup..waiting for part 2 now :)


very good write up...beautiful pics also :-)

Unknown said...

wow what a roundup lakshmi realy miss alot india and bangalore hmmm

ST said...

Well narrated post lakshmi...Fantastic and Fabulous roundup ....waiting for part 2....

Anonymous said...

Very nice Lakshmi gr8 effort....

Suganya said...

This is a very nice post. So useful. Nice collection. Great effort. Enjoyed reading this post....

Cham said...

Wow, i love the way u represented the festival. Ur sis- in law friend has set up an awesome display of golu, all are creative! Great round-up :)

Priya Suresh said...

Great work Lakshmi..came to know more about Navaratri..thanks for hosting this event, really very informative for ppls like me who almost forgotten certain traditions coz of work n other stuffs..

Unknown said...

That is lovely gal..Nice roundup.

Vidhya said...

wonderful round up Lakshmi. I missed it this time. Totally forgot about this event.

Priyanka said...

this is one interesting read...thanks for the roundup

Uma said...

wonderful roundup...the write was wonderful

Deepthi Shankar said...

thatz a nice write-up .. this time around I have come to Bangalore & I had been to Mysore to watch the processions .. It was a treat to the eyes. I was soo happy that I saw the procession after ages lakshmi. & mysore is yet so calm & beautiful

Lakshmi said...

@ Deesha,
You must have enjoyed Dasara..I am all JJ...but I am happy to hear that you enjoyed :) Enjoy your stay dear.

Purva Desai said...

Wow Doll House looks sooo cute and divine and even the Rangolis...
Really nice round up....

Pallavi said...

Awesome roundup. Thanks !

Kannada Cuisine said...

Wonderful round up Laksmi! Now i want to get back into the dasara mould again!! It was fun thinking of home and all the nice things associated with it!

Anonymous said...

This is a very nice post.It is really nice roundup by Lakshmi. u host the event very well.i like that..
Ghagra Choli

Send Christmas flowers to India said...

It's really good and update information blog regarding the Dasara, Doll House,Rangoli and many more..