Festival of Dolls in City of Palaces

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Mysore, Oct 12 (UNI) 'Gombe Habba,' (festival of dolls) began today in this City of Palaces.

The festival dates back to several centuries during the early rules of Wadiyar Dynasty. It reflects the skills of the women folk associated with the famous Dasara Festivities.

'Gombe Habba' is arrangement of dolls in houses, which attracts a large number of children.

Palace Board sources told UNI the festival of dolls was slowly losing patronage among women and young children alike.

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

The festival dates back to the period of Raja Wadiyar, in the 16th century. Initially, the idol of Gowri was decorated in a special manner and worshipped for nine days.

By the end of the 18th century, the royalty introduced dolls in an arrangement.

To celebrate the festival of dolls, the royalty earmarked a place in the Mysore Palace called 'Gombe Totti.' The festival was later introduced in public domain by officials in the Royal service and the practice of arranging dolls at home during Dasara began.

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

The arrangement of dolls revolved around the 'Pattada Bombe' made of sandalwood procured from Tirupati.

The practice of preparing 'Bombe Bagina' (a snack) on all the nine days of Dasara was popular with children inviting friends to home for a glimpse of the dolls.


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