Festival of Idols fast losing its popularity

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Mysore, Oct 1(UNI) 'Gombe Habba' or festival of dolls, tradition unique to the area started by early rulers of Wadiyar dynasty, that reflects the skills of women-folk and brings the mirth associated with the famous Dasara festivities is fast losing its charm and disappearing from traditional homes.

The Gombe Habba is part of the 'Navarathri' celebrated by almost all the households and attract a large number of people particularly the children.

The Palace Board sources told UNI that that the festival that signifies the nine incarnation of Goddess Durga, and which children anxiously waited for, the festival of dolls is slowly losing it's patronage among women and young children alike.

Artistically arranged dolls with intricate works showcasing the skills of women are fast disappearing from the traditional homes, thay said.

The festival dates back to the 16th centuary. Initially, the idol of Gowri was decorated in a special manner and worshipped for nine days and was limited to the palace.

By the end of the 18th century, the royalty introduced the festival to public domain by officials in the royal service.The practice of arranging dolls at home during the Navarathri began.

The tradition of gifting 'Pattada Bombe' to daughters during their marriage also contributed to the popularity of 'Gombe Habba'.

Playing with the dolls was a favourite pastime among the young marriaged girls those days. The arrangement of dolls revolved around the ' Pattada Bombe' made out of Chandana wood(sandlwood), procured from Tirupati, in rural, the practice of preparing ' Bombe Bagina' or sweets on all the nine days. It was a popular affair during the Dasara, and children would invite their friends home to have a glimpse of the dolls arrangements.

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