GOLU AROUND THE GLOBE
Take a peek at Mahalakshmi Swaminathan's golu from India (+91)
Tell us about your Golu
We have been celebrating navrathri with golu from my childhood, I used to help my mom to arrange the dolls and to make a park.
After marriage, we started keeping unique themes every year.
I start making crafts for the theme a month before the Navrathri festival.
This year, the theme is "Lord Shiva - In and As the five elements of Nature- Sky, Air, Fire, Water and Earth.
We have shown the places where he represents the same.
There are 63 nayanmars or devotees or Shiva. We have kept the stories of few nayanmars who lived there.
Sky - Chidhambaram , There is a mystery (Chidhambara Rahasyam) in this temple, a closed room which has nothing inside.
Nayanmar - Thirunaalaipovar / Nandhanar wishes to get the darshan of Lord Shiva in Chidhambaram temple, but denied because of caste system. He postpones the travel because of this. One day Shiva calls him to chidhambaram, where there is a big yaga arranged. He gets into the fire and attains holiness and darshan of Shiva.
Air : Srikalahasthi , There is a room which does not have any windows in the temple.But the lamp place there flickers which shows the presence of Lord as Air.Kannapa nayanar did pooja for this lingam in his own way, offers meat . Seeing this, the priest becomes sad. Shiva, to test the devotion, makes the blood to flow from the eyes. Kannapa to stop the blood , gets ready to pierce the eyes and replace the same with that on the lingam.At that time, Shiva gives his blessings.
Fire : Thiruvannamalai. On a disagreement between Brahma and Vishnu , Shiva takes the form of fire and asks them to search for the origin and the end, which becomes impossible for both of them. No nayanmars lived here, but lot of compositions were made in this place by thirunavukarasar.
Water : Thiruvanaikaval. Lingam placed on water, from a spring that does nt get dried off.
Story of kochengachola : An elephant and spider performs pooja for a lingam in a forest. Spider makes a web to save lingam from other dust particles. Elephant destroys the spiderweb , while cleaning the lingam. Spider becomes angry and enters the trunk of the elephant, both of them dies. Shiva gives mukthi to elephant and gives a boon to spider, making it to be a king in the next birth.It becomes the king kochengachola and builds lot of shiva temples including thiruvanaikaval where he keeps the entry narrow ensuring even a small elephant cannot enter the shrine.
Earth : Kanchipuram, here the shiva is as prithvilingam. The nayanmar who lived here is Thirukuripputhonda nayanar, He was a washerman who was also a great siva devotee.His routine was to wash the clothes of a siva devotee and then do his work.One day, he could not find anyone and was searching for one. Shiva , in the form of a devotee gives his clothes and asks him to return the same day. He washes the clothes happily and puts for drying, when there comes a heavy rain.He prays for the rain to stop, but in vain.He becomes so sad and hits his head on the washing stone itself and gets ready to die when Shiva appears before him and gives his blessings.
The temples, mountain and the cutouts for the stories are all crafted.