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When it comes to devotion and art, Tamil Nadu is unique, and all that is reflected in its Navaratri festival. Who would not want to visit a Tamil house during the Navaratri season to see the Kolu/Golu, a perfect blend of devotion and art!

The nine-day Navaratri festival is widely celebrated across India but has an added charm and aesthetics in Tamil Nadu. People in the state decorate their houses to welcome the three Goddesses, Durga, Saraswati, and Lakshmi. The festival begins with Devi Paksha which falls in the Ashwin month (September -October) and ends with Vijayadashami. Devotees sculpt idols and toys of Gods and Goddesses. These are kept on a raised platform or dais called Golu/Kolu, designed in the form of tiny steps, and kept in households and temples.

Typically, the Golus are arranged on an odd number of steps (usually 9) and it is themed on either the ten incarnations of Vishnu or epics like Ramayana or Mahabharatha. Dolls of Gods, Goddesses, sages and human figurines are placed on the tiers. People in the neighbourhood pay a visit to each other’s houses to see the Golu, and sing devotional songs on Durga. Gifts and snacks will be served to the guests. The gifts include coconuts, betel leaves, fresh flowers, and haldi (turmeric)-kumkum (vermillion). If you are married, you will be given ornaments, bangles, and bindi. Snacks are mainly made using pulses. Lamps will be lit at homes and kolams or Rangoli drawn at the entrance of the house.

Tamilians also start off this day by performing Mohiniyattam and Bharatanatyam in temples, palaces and community centres. Saraswathi Puja is on the 9th day when symbols of knowledge such as books and musical instruments are kept at the fore of Kolu and worshipped. One of the idols  from the Kolu is laid to rest on Vijayadashami, the last day of Navaratri celebrations. Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple, Mutharamman Temple in Kulasekharapattinam, Kanchi Kamakshi Amman Temple, Woraiyur Vekkali Amman Temple, and Samayapuram Mariamman Temple are some of the famous temples in Tamil Nadu that are visited especially for their grand celebrations of Navarathri. Devotees of Mutharamman Temple in Kulasekharapattinam dress up in various forms such as Goddess Kali, Kings, beggars, monkeys, and various forms of Devi.



Sep 26, 2022 - Oct 5, 2022


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