All About Golu, Navaratri -Navarathri Sundal & Rice Varieties-TamilNadu Festivals

Navaratri is a festival dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga. Goddess Durga is a form of Shakthi who is unbeatable and unconquerable. Navaratri –“Nava” means nine  and “ratri” means night, during these nine nights and ten days nine forms of Shakthi are worshipped for peace and prosperity. Navaratri is essential to worship Durga to honour her victory over demons like Mahishasuran who causing causing misery to Gods and saints. The tenth day is the ultimate defeat of the demons marking the conquest of good over the evil. Navaratri this year is celebrated from Oct 5th  to Oct 13, 2013.

In Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, a special display of dolls and figurines (Golu) in the odd numbered steps (padis) will be held in the houses and temples. Golu literally means festival of dolls, usually arranged in odd number of steps either 3,5,7 or 9 depending on the availability and capacity. In South India the festival is in honour of the Divine Mother in the forms of Durga (Goddess of power, bravery and strength), Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth and prosperity) and Saraswathi (Goddess of knowledge). Special poojas and prayers are performed on first three days for Goddess Durga, the next three days for Goddess Lakshmi and the last three days for Goddess Saraswathi.

The Golu predominantly displays dolls of Gods and Goddess of Hindu mythology. These dolls are usually made of clay and paper mache, it is also a tradition to display wooden dolls of “Marapaachi” a boy and a girl together. These displays teach children about the custom and stories about the god.

Golu @ my home

Little girls beautifully dress up every evening and would go with a little cup containing kum-kum from house to house and invite the ladies and girls to visit the Golu. Friends and relatives visit the Golu, hymns are sung, special prayers performed and offerings like sundal and sweet are made for Goddess. After a special “Aarthi” this offering is given to the guest as prasad along with small gift bags which usually includes, kumkum, manjal, betel leaves etc.
On the 9th day Saraswathi Pooja is celebrated, books and musical instruments are placed in the pooja and worshipped. Event tools are placed in the pooja as a part of “Ayudha Pooja”, vehicles are washed and machines cleaned and poojas are performed for them as well.
The 10th day, “Vijayadasami” marks victory, new and prosperous beginning. This is the day on which evil was finally destroyed by good.  One or two dolls are usually made to sleep and then packed safely for the Golu for the next year. These fascinating facts about Golu is from Wikipedia and other sources.

Now coming to the offerings made to Goddess, here’s the links for the some of the sundals and payasam varieties offered as neivedhyam or offerings for Navaratri and I will be updating them soon. 


  1. wow thats a nice write up abt the festival...

  2. wow.. nice information.. great collection of recipes..

  3. very well explained and nice arrange of recipes..perfect 4 festivall.

  4. nice write up n festive recipes luks so yummy..

  5. Thank you friends for you lovely comments....


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