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Dasara Dolls adored in Homes across Mysore

Dasara Dolls adored in Homes across Mysore

[Updated 2013-10-09 09:34:00 ]

B M LavaKumar

Pics: Nani Hebbal

As the palace city is gearing up for Dasara celebrations, the traditional practices are being held without much fanfare throughout nine-day celebrations.  One among them is being displaying of idols of monarchs of Mysore and their family, deities etc in the households.  

If one takes a round to palace, fort, heritage buildings, shops and roads all are illuminated with colorful lights, while the colorful idols of different sizes and shapes adorn the households across the city.  In every household, the women folks worship the idols by prominently displaying in their abodes.  These idols indeed add flavor to real Dasara celebrations besides gives joy.  The whole world is a theater.  The Almighty creator is master of our lives, as the old adage in Kannada goes, the erstwhile Mysore rulers given a prominent place to idols during nine-day Dasara celebrations as they believed in the old adage mentioned above.  The royal practice began to display idols in the palaces for nine-day celebrations and also worshiped them.

A separate room has been reserved to display the idols in the palace like Darbal hall, art gallery, wedding hall, dining room, ammunition store etc.It houses artistic ancient ivory and sandalwood made rare idols.The royals sheltered sculptors with their love for art, this has helped many to become acclaimed sculptors.

The traditional practice of worshiping idols in every household during Dasara is not limited to Mysore; it is being practiced in elsewhere of Karnataka. However, the idols get greater significance in Mysore.Several households in Mysore are displaying the idols in their homes, while a few allowed others to view their exhibits. The idol exhibition that is being organized by Ramans Foundation nearby Mysore zoo every year attracts many visitors.

Normally, in the display of idols, both king and queen dominate the show. In each household the idols of Mysore rulers are displayed prominently on the top row, to convey the respect for the royals.  Besides the idols of celebrated jumbo carrying diamond-studded throne, heads of army, horses, camels line up along with replica of Mysore palace in the home display.  In the latest developments, a few modern idols are also displayed.

To promote display of idols at homes

Mysore Dasara cultural Committee has been promoting the private display of idols in homes by announcing prizes for classic display.  Navaratri celebration is triumph of good over evil and the victory is celebrated on the day of Vijaya Dashami.  As per mythological text, goddess Chamundeshwari is the reincarnation of Adhishakti.

The goddess Chamundeshwari waged war against monster Mahishasura for all nine-day of Navaratri, while she slaughtered the monster Mahishasura on the tenth day, has prompted to celebrate the victory as Dasara Utsav.  Although, Vijayanagara rulers celebrated Vijaya Dashami in their kingdom, it was followed up by Mysore rulers, after the collapse of Vijayanagar dynasty.  Mysore rulers were credited for systematically organizing the Dasara Utsav in splendor since 1610.  The celebrations that used to begin on Navaratri would conclude on Vijaya Dashami.  The practice of worshiping idols in household families prevailed at that time.

Idol display during Navaratri

The women-folks display idols of royals and their entourage in their homes on the first day of Navaratri and offer puja for nine-day.

In the past there were no modern toys to entertain little children, who had to grow playing with a few dolls.  The child-marriages were rampant, while even a girl playing with dolls is wedded-off to a distant relative.  The dolls were displayed prominently at homes once a year and were offering puja that led to annual celebrations.

In the present times, the dolls or idols that were displayed in showcases are relocated to a room where puja celebrations are held.  The women-folk begin to display their idols, while a few display the idols made out of clay, glass, wool, plastic, porcelain and other products.  A few families prefer only clay idols.  All these idols convey the mythological episodes that project the splendor of motherland.  The idols of Eshwar, Ganapati, Laxmi, Saraswati, Durge are displayed with the background of conquering the evil.  Whatever may be the case, in all the celebrations there is amusement aspect that is the splendor of Mysore Dasara.

When I walked inside the abode of Jayasri and Mariswamy couple, I was welcomed by the replica of Mysore palace.  It was indeed a masterpiece of art, followed by horsemen, musicians; men wearing vests, etc are mesmerizing.  The replica of Lord Krishna playing in the cradle, one wonders as if its real.

Newly-wedded couple at nuptial, Lord Narayan on sleeping mode

The idols of charming newly-wedded couple at the nuptial makes one to bless them, such are their beauty.  The several goddesses makes one wonder whether its heaven on earth, because such numbers of their idols are displayed in their home.  The idols of Krishna, Shiva, Narayana, Narasimha, Ranganataswamy... the list goes on.  The pictures of Srinivas Kalyan, Satyanarayan puja, Vaibhavalaxmi puja, Dashavatara, Kalyanotsav, musicians, nonetheless welcome dolls are also displayed.  Each idol has its significance.

Loads of dolls, each one competing for attention

Jayasri and Mariswamy couple have a huge collection of idols collected in over 25 years. Jayasri has been sourcing the idols from Chennapattana, Bangalore, Chennai and Kinnalu and other places. Her husband Mariswamy also supports her in this regard. All the idols are carefully packed to display in the next year.  Each idol is beautiful and feels like touching. If you visit their home, you will also feel like celebrating the festival of dolls like them.


Dr.S.N.Lakshminarasimhan, Tumkur, 

It is a very good collection and good display of idols. Each idol is beautiful. It calls for a good effort and interest.

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