Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala): Around 2500 miniature idols of deities comprise the ‘Bommai Kolu’ (doll arrangements) at Gandhari Amman Kovil temple in Thiruvananthapuram this year, during Navratri. The Bommai Kolu is the main attraction of the Navratri festival in Kerala. As part of the Navaratri festival, idols of Hindu deities and dolls mainly made of clay are arranged in houses. Friends and relatives visit to see the ‘Bommai Kolu’ during Navaratri time.
Earlier, it was a practice among Tamil Brahmins residing in Thiruvananthapuram, but nowadays many people make Bommai Kolu in their houses. This year in Gandhari Amman Kovil temple in Thiruvananthapuram has made Bommai Kolu in the temple mandapam where the main events of the Navaratri festival are happening.
“Gandhari Amman Kovil is a decade-old traditional temple in Thiruvananthapuram. Navarathri festival is celebrated here each year with various events. Mandapam is decorated with different types of idols of deities. This year’s specialty is that we have used more than 2500 idols to decorate the Navarathri mandapam. I think nowhere else in Thiruvananthapuram or in Kerala, this many idols have been used for the festivals. The festival will come to an end by 15th with ‘Vidhyarambham’,” said R P Nair, secretary of Gandhari Amman Kovil temple.
The celebrations of Sharad (autumn) Navratri involve worshipping Goddess Durga and her nine forms. The festival is celebrated in different ways across the country. Over the next nine days, devotees offer their prayers to Goddess Durga and observe fasts.
Also known as Sharad Navratri, the occasion is believed to mark Goddess Durga’s victory over demon Mahishasura, signifying the victory of good over evil. The 10th day of Sharad Navratri is celebrated as Dussehra or Vijaya Dashami. The festival of Navratri will be observed from October 7 till October 15. This year Ashtami falls on October 13 while Dashami falls on October 15.