SOULTales - Character Strengths, Stories & Vocabulary

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Why the Dolls?

I want to know why we keep the Golu/Kolu. That got me searching on the net. I got access to many many blogs, sites which talk about the process of keeping Golu, a custom followed by the Tam Brahms( Tamil Brahmins, who come from the Southern state of Tamilnadu in India), and some communities in Andhra Pradesh.
But what is the story behind the Kolu?

Still fruitless my explorations, I chanced upon a nice website, giving some information on Kolu Steps
Click here
Here they tell us how the different steps are arranged and their significance.Yet why do we keep this ?
Well here goes the story behind the steps and the dolls.I remember reading this story a long time back, I am not able to find the link now. But I know I read it from some authentic source. If anyone knows/has validation for this story please let me know!

Why The Dolls?
During the reign of Krishnadevaraya, which was considered a golden age for South India, the people of his kingdom, so adored and worshiped him that they wanted to feel his presence in their house. As every one could not invite the King to their homes, they hit upon the novel idea of making dolls representing the King and Queen they adored, and placing them on pedestals. As human forms are generally not worshiped in isolation, they were placed in the ranks of the Gods. Idols were placed alongside the king and queen, and they were given the exulted status.

In most Kolu's you will see the Marapachi Dolls, made of wood and adorned with kingly clothes,or dressed as the bride and groom. A special fact to observe is that these dolls are placed on the top most step, along side the Kalasam, which represents the Amman or the Devi Goddess.

More thoughts will flow on the Kolu theme as and when they come...


  1. THat was interesting.... i had no idea of the Krishnadevaraya story... i was only told that the steps represented the differnt levels from the lowest to the highest.... starting from human and animal to the gods....

  2. golu is supposed to represent how life forms evolved . The first 3 steps are devoted to gods and goddesses. the next 3 steps are for the rishis and munis like raghavendrar,saibaba etc., the last 3steps include animals,birds, and other helpers around us like postman, policeman etc., and of course not to forger chettiyar and chettichi.The other added attractions have evolved recently like the park,zoo etc. This above info i read in an older issue of mangayar malar.