Sita Kalyanam

Sita Kalyana VaibhogameRama Kalyana Vaibhogame The great celebration of the marriage of Sita, The great celebration of the marriage of Rama, Pavanaja Stuti Patra Pavana Charitra Ravi Soma Vara Netra Ramaniya Gatra (Sita) He who is praised by Hanuman, the son of wind, He who has a very holy story, He whose eyes are the…

Navratri Fanfare

I LOVE stories.. it is the butter, jam, jelly, caramel and pickle to my bread. As a story teller, Navarati is most certainly my most favorite festival of the year (well, second to Diwali, which is usually birthday time!). For the past few years, especially since I moved to Bangalore, I look forward to setting…

Golu

Like I mentioned in my earlier post, this is my first golu in my new den, and it is tiny by most standards. Since I needed to have odd-numbered steps, three was the starting point. My mother says, the golu needs to grow each year with new dolls getting added to the list. Step one…

Ram Leela

Ram Leela is a folk play that shows parts of Lord Rama’s life. The climax of the play ends with the legendary war between Good and Evil, Dussehra where effigies of King Ravana are burnt, typically with fireworks. Ram Leela is a part of Dusshera celebrations in North India, and typlically based on the 16th…

Sharada Navratri

Sharada Navratri, the last of the four navaratis that celebrates the change in seasons in India, is associated with the nine forms of Shakti. One the 10th day (Vijayadashami), Goddess Durga is said to have killed demon Mahishasura (hence, she is named Mahishasuramardini) celebrating the victory of good over evil. Another version has lord Rama killing Ravana, angain…

Dahi Handi

At Vrindavan, Krishna was a very naughty child, and his love for makhan (white butter), curds and milk was well known. Vrindavan’s women would tie freshly-churned butter at a height out of Krishna’s reach. But Krishna and his friends would form human pyramid and steal their goodies anyway. This dahi handi ritual has come to…

Marriages Made in Heaven

I enjoy the Durga Navratri, probably my second favorite festival after Diwali (that’s when I was born :-)). For nine nights, which culminates with Vijayadashami, we worship nine forms of shakti (Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati), who brings to us wisdom, fertility and strength. I have a smallish traditional golu setting this year. The lowest step celebrates…

Rass Leela

Rass Leela a dance which is attributed to Krishna, Radha and the other Gopis. It is further believed that Kathak evolved from the ‘Rass Leela of Braj and Manipuri Classical Dance’ and is often considered as the “Dance of Divine Love”. The story goes like this. One night, the Gopis in Vrindavan, hear Krishna’s flute…

Tirupati Balaji

The Venkateswara Temple is a vishnu temple in Tirumala, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Sri Venkateswara, an incarnation of Vishnu, who is believed to have appeared here to save mankind from trials and troubles of Kali Yuga.

The Feast Is Laid

Golu or Kolu is a display of dolls on odd numbered steps or padis  depicting scenes from Hindu texts, royalty, weddings or everyday scenes. While the practice dates back to centuries, it is still a huge part of Navarathri celebrations in South India. Although I have lived in western India for most part of my…