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Dasara Gombe Navaratri Doll Festival – Pattada Gombe, Tier Arrangement, History, Customs & Significance

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Dasara, the festival of 10 long days which glorifies Goddess and her fiercely power in defeating the evil. This festival is celebrated throughout India, but the traditions and customs vary a lot and are unique to each place.

Southern India celebrates in a totally different manner than in North. Dasara, observes the tradition of Doll Festival in many parts of Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

In Karnataka, Dasara straight away indicates the pomp and glory of Royal Mysore. Mysore Dasara is little different than other places.

Dasara Gombe Utsava which is Doll Arrangement Festival has a special significance. Every house hold has a doll house arranged and displayed throughout the 10 days.

Pattada Gombe


In Mysore, the arrangement is incomplete if Pattada Gombe, a pair of wooden dolls husband and wife, is not included. 


mysore dasara doll arrangement pattada gombe

Pattada Rani and Pattada Arasa represent the set of royal traditional queen and king. This pair is the main of all the idols and takes the place on top along with the idols of deities.

Pattada Gombe are decorated in silk cloth and made ready as though they are the bride and the groom ready for marriage.

Tier Arrangement


This toy festival allows all grown-up elders and children of the family to come together and present the idea and theme behind the arrangement.

Commonly, the dolls/toys are arranged on a stepped platform. The steps are chosen to be odd in numbers – 7 or 9 or 11.  These steps are either permanently made in any corner of the house for every year’s decoration or temporarily arranged using cardboard or wooden boxes.

There are specific rules followed while arranging the dolls on the tiers.

Steps 1 to 3 – These top steps are reserved for divine figurines of Gods and Goddesses.


dasara dolls dashavatara arrangement

mysore dasara doll arrangement

Steps 4 to 6 – These are the respected positions for popular personalities who have done great to the society like saints, kings, queens. Mysore Royal family of Kings and Queens have due importance during Mysore Dasara Habba (Festival). So, idols of famous and influential rulers are also placed at these steps.


dasara doll clay figurines

Step 7 – Hindu festivals, celebrations, events, special occasions are depicted at this step.

Step 8 – Our everyday life activities are shown at this point, such as vegetable vendor, carpenter, park, a shop keeper, an old couple chit chatting, ladies cooking, and so on.


mysore dasara dolls wooden toys


Step 9 – How man’s life and other living things have evolved are what is usually depicted at this bottom most step.

This is generally the system of doll arrangement followed by all. One can always change and evolve the idea of the decoration.

History


This Doll Festival custom is believed to be prevailing from Vijayanagara Kingdom days and is followed to this day.

Goddess Durga fought a fierce battle with the demon Mahishasura which she won after fighting for 10 long days. During the battle, all other Gods and Goddesses gave Maa Durga all their powers and stood motionless like statues.

To pay all these deities respect, doll festival came into practice and hence these dolls are worshipped every day through Dasara.

Folklore also explains that common man did not have the privilege of witnessing their favourite royal family weddings and celebrations. So, at home, people made arrangements of the royal wedding and festive celebrations toys and enjoyed witnessing through the doll arrangements.

Customs


Customs are many when it comes to celebrating Dasara Dolls Festival. But none of them are compulsory. Every custom is followed based on the personal convenience.

Some of the generic customs followed are –
  • Pattada Gombe pair is mandatory for all in Mysore. How creatively the decoration is done is their wish.
  • The Dasara Jumbo Sawari depiction also becomes a must as it is an important event in Mysore on Vijayadashami. 

mysore dasara procession gombe decoration

  • Each year, people add new dolls to their collection.
  • The dolls are handed over to the new generations in the family.
  • The dolls are worshipped throughout the 10 days. Prasad, usually different sweets and savouries are offered every day to the dolls while performing daily puja.

dasara doll decoration kalash

  • A theme is followed in arranging the dolls. Some common themes are stories from Ramayana, Mahabharatha, forest theme, social causes, unity in diversity, and many more.

dasara gombe ramayana story arrangement

  • People invite home all their relatives and friends to see their doll house. Every one go visiting every house hold to watch doll decoration.
Significance

Karnataka has this doll festival exhibited through clay models or wooden toys. The art, craft and talent of doll making is soon diminishing. In order to stay rooted to the tradition, the concerned department arranges for competition and media coverage of doll house arrangements.

Dasara is the special occasion when Mysore turns into a land of dolls and toys.

Upcoming posts about
Where to buy Dasara Dolls in Mysore?
Dasara Doll Arrangement Designs Ideas
Dasara Dolls Exhibition at Bombe Mane

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