Namaste . I am Sowmya Madhavan from Bangalore. I have lot of interest in these Golu since from childhood I grew up listening to stories from the Ramayana and Mahabharata. However, once or twice during my childhood I could make a village theme golu. But every year whenever I used to see these dasara dolls in shops, my mind would always imagine to keep them all in my home. I started keeping Golu from 2016 after my marriage. But again got discontinued beacuse of baby birth and pandemic from 2017 till 2020. Again last year I resumed in 2021 and I have decided to continue the tradition every year. This year, I started planning by June since I didnt have Golu steps and purchased one and got one more made by carpenter.
This time I made Golu with 3 themes, one is Ramayana theme, one is a theme depicting 5 famous temples of India and a village theme. Ramayana depicted Seetha Swayamvara, Paduka samarpana, Sugreva Pattabhisheka, Seethapaharana, Hanuman in Ashoka Vana, Ravana darbar, Hanuman getting Sanjeevini, Ravana Mardhana, Pushpaka Vimana and Rama Pattabhisheka. My kid who is 5 years old also likes to read Ramayana stories. She also involved in keeping Golu.
The second theme was depicting 5 very famous temple deities, which date back to our mythological and historical times along with a general presentation ,depicting Gods like Srinivasa Perumal, Padmavathi along with Hanuman and Garuda, Dashavathara Perumal, Krishna Rukmini Satya Bhama, Ganesha, Saraswathi, Lakshmi other dolls. The 5 temple deities depicted were: (1) Mysore Chamundeshwari (2) Guruvayooraappan (3) Udupi Krishna (4) Atti Varadaraja Perumal (5) Puri Jagannath. Each has a stalapurana (story particular to that place) and history of its own. I had made a small placard depicting some information about a particular deity. I think this helps to understand our rich history and culture along with stories from the puranas, especially for the younger generation. Temples and its deities stand as a living proof to our ancient texts , civiilization and rich heritage.
This year we chose the concept of Varanam Aayiram and Aandal Kalyanam with Ranganathar. So our golu started with Krishna'a birth till Kamsa Vadham, followed by Aandal's birth, her wearing the garlands before giving to God and her waiting for the God. Finally, they marry with the God coming on an elephant and marrying her. Together, they become one at Sri Rangam. Secondly, we have showcased Thirupathi. Thirdly, we have Kal Azhagar, Madurai. Kal Azhagar is on his way to go to Meenakshi, his sister's marriage to Sundareshwar. We also have a fun themed Elephant Night Safari. The Main Golu starts with three goddesses who are celebrated throughout Navratri - Saraswati, Durga and Lakshmi. Then, we have few divya desams from Kanchipuram which is a popular temple town. We have a beautiful Rama hugging Hanuman out of love which is to represent the purest form of love. We also have Lakshmi Narasimhar and Lakshmi Hayagreevar. Lastly, finish it off with Ashtalakshmi and Rama, Lakshmama, Sita and Hanuman.
Golu keeping tradition has been in our family for the past 70 years. Few of the bommais are about 70 years old since they belong to my great grandmother. It is always the best time of the year as it is a team work in our family with all of us pitching in with ideas and themes.