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Query from: Latha Srikumar, India, 09/25/08
Topic: SPIRITUALITY      Submitted on: Ammas.com
Subject: Navarathri kalasam's contents

what are the things to be put inside the navarathri kalasam and where marapachi dolls are available for purchase?

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Response from: madhavan parthasarathy,   
Council Member on Ask Agent
Source: This information comes from my own knowledge.
Marapachis are availble in srirangam, trichy and other ancient temple precincts;Kalasams with mavilai and coconut in it makes it. To keep the mavilai green for the entire period, sufficient water in the kalasam sombu is maintained; and the water should not emante bad odour as the days pass on. to prevent this, vasana thiravium elachi, pacha karpooram etc are added

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Response from: Mrs. Sai Sai,   
Council Member on Ammas.com
Source: This information comes from my own knowledge.
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Latha Srikumar,

Kalash :

Kalash or Kalasha is a coconut circled by mango leaves on a pot. The pot for the Kalasha can be made of clay, brass or copper. A kalasha can be filled with water, rice or other grains. Mango leaves are arranged in the mouth of the pot. A coconut – outer green covering removed – is placed over the mouth of the pot. The neck of the pot is tied with a white, yellow or red colored thread or cloth. Some people draw a swastika on the side of the pot. Depending on their artistic skill, some draw various designs using natural products.

The Kalasha symbolically represents creation. The vacant pot, symbolizes earth, and the water filled symbolizes the primordial water from which life began on earth. Life began in water and nothing can exist in this world without water.

The mango leaves represent the life forms. And coconut a product from the life forms is again filled with water symbolically representing endless cycle and the single thread that runs in all of us.


You can buy Bhommais at Poompuhar or Ranganathan Street in Chennai. (http://divyaswords.sulekha.com/blog…)

You can also see these links



Please see http://www.hindu-blog.com/2008/09/m… to know about Marapachi Dolls

Marapachi Dolls are an indispensable part of Navaratri Bommai Kolu doll arrangements. Marapachi Bommai literally means wooden toys. Golu or Kolu is the display of dolls during Navratri in South India especially in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and parts of Kerala. Marapachi wooden dolls are figures that were made for children from dark wood. They were toys for children in ancient days. But today they are confined to the Golu display. In 2008, Navratri puja begins on September 30.

Marapachi Dolls are a pair of male and female dolls which forms the most important part of Navarathri Golu arrangements. They are sold as a couple – male and female. The dolls are mostly made of reddish wood. They are finely carved and are available in various sizes. During display, the wooden couple is beautifully adorned with colorful attires and jewellery.

Marapachi dolls are a proud possession for many people and are handed down generations.

The female doll in Marapachi dolls is displayed to the right of the male doll and is usually placed on the first step or after Lord Ganesh. Marapachi dolls are mainly made in Tirupati.

Please see http://www.hindu-blog.com/2007/10/b… to know How the Kolu Dolls are Traditionally arranged

Bommai Kolu :

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.

Earlier, special artisans were invited to homes to create kolu dolls. But nowadays most people rely on readymade kolu dolls and ‘special Bommai kolu’ sets that hit the market during the period. The kolu arrangement is a forte of women and young girls. Creative women add new dolls to their collection each year. Some women collect dolls throughout the year keeping in mind the Navratri Kolu. It must be noted here that some of the dolls used in Navratri kolu are very old as they have been handed down to generations.

But sadly the Bommai Kolu ritual is no longer held as elaborately as they used to be in houses. Nowadays, people rarely find time to collect or make dolls and therefore the Bommai Kolu is slowly becoming a community affair. The huge collection of dolls from various households in an area makes the community Bommai Kolu a grand affair.

How the Kolu Dolls are Traditionally arranged?

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 personalities 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.

You can also see http://www.hindu-blog.com/2007/10/n…

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Response from: Anu Babu,   
Council Member on Ammas.com
Source: This information comes from my own knowledge.
Hi Latha,

On Mahalaya Ammavasai, the new moon, each family prepares a Kalasa, a pot filled with water and crowned with a ring of mango leaves secured in place by a coconut. This is representative of the goddess and is placed on the first step along with prayers propitiating Ganesha and the goddess. Then, the other dolls are arranged aesthetically. At the very end, twinkling serial lights installed complete the beautiful picture.

In India, many devotees invoke Divine Mother’s energy in a special silver vessel, or kalasam. Divine Mother is then worshipped in this kalasam three times a day during all the days of Navaratri. Many offerings are made according to the scriptures, and the chanting of Sri Chandi Saptasati and Srimad Bhagavatam is performed. After the pujas are completed, “Suvasini Puja” is performed. In this puja, married ladies and also young girls are worshipped as manifestations of Divine Mother. They are given offerings of new clothes, fruits, betel leaves, betel nut, turmeric and kumkum. Though this puja focuses on women, the practice highlights the presence of Divine Mother within all human beings.

You may ask, “What is the purpose of all these offerings?” Nothing in this whole wide world can take place without Mother’s command. And whatever we have, it has come from Mother only. It is Divine Mother who has has given us food and water, who has clothed us, and who has blessed us with a peaceful life and the ability to contemplate the higher spiritual principles. So we offer all these auspicious items back to Mother, to show our gratitude. Of course, the clothes that you offer to Divine Mother are ultimately worn by you. The food is eaten by you and your loved ones. Offering the items first simply shows your love and gratitude. Since the secret to abundance is selfless giving, offering these things to Mother creates abundance for ourselves, our families, and the entire world.

In this world, millions of people love to worship the Divine as their own near and dear mother. If you find it difficult to perform certain pujas or prepare specific food items, just remember that Sri Devi is your mother; there is no need to worry. Just offer whatever you can, like fruits or milk. The most important elements in the Navaratri puja are your faith and devotion; the love in your heart is the true offering that Mother likes.

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Response from: NEERAJA NAVEEN,   
Registered Member on Ask Agent
Source: This information comes from my own knowledge.
The Golu is the Doll Exhibition that is displayed in temples and each Hindu home during Navarathri. Though the golu has not been mentioned in any Vedic texts, the Hindus undertake it with great enthusiasm.

Dolls of various sizes, shapes and colours can be seen in a Golu. Usually, they are arranged on specially made wooden steps which are nine in number. On the first or top-most step is placed the kalasam or the Auspicious Pot. It is a small bronze pot filled with rice, the neck of which is closed by a whole coconut. Tender mango leaves are arranged around the rim of the pot and exotic designs of rice paste are traced all over the vessel. This Kalasam is the first item to be placed on the Golu steps. Next comes, a clay or earthen image of the Goddess rajarajeshwari or Durag, manifestations of Parvathi. On her side are arraigned the other two goddesses, Lakshmi and Parvathi.

The huge pantheon of Hindu gods also finds their places on the descending steps. The last two steps are reserved for lowly human dolls- little boys and girls, galloping, reading or playing with their pets, a lone clay policemean, some porcelain figurines of parasol-bearing coy ladies (usually bought by Uncle's jaunts abroad), wooden stick figures, called marapaachis wearing a gruesome expression on their faces and so on. The Chettiar bommai is a doll that finds pride of place in almost every Golu. It is the likeness of a fat, balding merchant peddling his wares (usually groceries). Sometimes, you can find his wife, the Chettichi also giving him company..!! You can even see miniature towns, parks and whole cities laid out at the base of the Golu steps.

A kalasam is a silver pot filled with rice and decorated with kumkum (or red powder) and turmeric. Mango leaves and a coconut, covered in turmeric, are placed on top of the silver pot. The kalasam represents the goddesses and is worshipped over the nine days.

go for buying for Bhommais at Poompuhar or Ranganathan Street in Chennai.

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Response from: Geetha Gopakumar,   
Council Member on Ammas.com
Source: This information comes from my own knowledge.
Kalasam is considered to an Auspicious Pot. It is a small bronze pot filled with rice, the neck of which is closed by a whole coconut. Tender mango leaves are arranged around the rim of the pot and exotic designs of rice paste are traced all over the vessel.

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