Dasara Doll Festival – IV

A brilliant display of dolls depicting Putrakameshti Yaga, a scene from the Indian epic Ramayana, is grabbing eyeballs at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. The heirloom dolls all of them more than a hundred years old belong to the family of Anu Vishweshwar, a relative of Sir M. Vishweshwariah, the Diwan of Mysore from 1912 to 1918.


Many, many, years ago during the Treta Yuga, the kingdom of Ayodhya was ruled by King Dashratha. He had three wives, Kausalya, the senior-most, Kaikeyi and Sumitra. The king was sad that none of the queens bore him any progeny and because of that the kingdom was without any heir.

On the advice of the royal priest Sage Vashishta and another sage Rishya Shringa, the king performed the Putrakameshti Yagna, a ceremony performed by childless couples to beget children.

After the ceremony was completed around a holy fire, there appeared Agni, the God of Fire with a golden bowl filled with Payasam, a sweet. King Dasharatha was asked to distribute the sweet to his three queens. In due course, the queens bore him children. Kausalya gave birth to the King’s eldest son who was named Rama, Kaikeyi’s son was named Bharata and Sumitra bore him twins Lakshmana and Shatrughana.


In the picture, seated on the throne are King Dashratha and Queen Kaushalya, on the left is Queen Kaikeyi with her maid and on the right is Queen Sumitra with her maid and a member of the royal family. Agni, the God of Fire, is in between the sages. In his hands is the golden bowl containing Payasam. The sage with grey hair is Rishya Shringa and the other sage is Vashishta.


Anu Vishweshwar and a relative took almost 2 hours to dress up each of the dolls. The toughest part was wrapping the sarees all of them being Kanjeevarams. The full-length heavily brocaded sarees had to be folded to a suitable size to fit the dolls. Transporting them from her home to the venue was another task. She had to take care to cover them and avoid them getting shaken as that could disturb the dress and the jewellery. The pandal or ramp was created at the venue from scratch. The glittering jewellery was purchased years ago from Raja Market and the vicinity.

The dazzling display is on till 10th/11th of October and worth giving a visit.

Happy Dasara!

Weekly Photo Challenge: “(Extra)ordinary.”

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “(Extra)ordinary.”

The doll festival is part of the Dasara festivities in many homes of South India. Dasara is one of the most important festivals in the Hindu festive calendar and is celebrated over a period of 8-10 days. The photo below was taken at a doll show at Bangalore. I found these dolls incredibly beautiful and their costumes out of the world. Dressing up dolls is a very difficult process. Kudos to whoever dressed them up. An (extra)ordinary effort I should say!


Endless clicking on a road trip from Bangalore to Coorg and back

A week back, a road trip from Bangalore to Coorg and back proved to be more colourful than I had imagined. I travelled with my family on an SUV and unlike on earlier travels I had my precious DSLR camera for company. Seated on the backseat and near the window, this time I thought I would do more than just watch the world go by. I kept clicking. To many the idea may sound crazy but I revelled with this new found pastime. The car was travelling quite fast and most of the shots were out of focus or got blurred. Still there was a sizeable number of them that were quite publish-worthy.

I was awestruck with some of the rock formations:


The lush green fields and greenery were a tonic for the eye:

IMG_7592 IMG_7119 IMG_7121 IMG_7127 IMG_7129 IMG_7140 IMG_7153

The roads were lined with a lot of colourful houses. Parrot green seemed to be a favourite colour with many. Houses in neon hues that would have been an eyesore in the urban landscape stood out brilliantly on the countryside.

IMG_7324 IMG_7311 IMG_7312 IMG_7317 IMG_7318 IMG_7320 IMG_7275 IMG_7130 IMG_7135 IMG_7136 IMG_7138 IMG_7143 IMG_7144 IMG_7155 IMG_7599 IMG_7280 IMG_7292 IMG_7308 IMG_7328 IMG_7329 IMG_7332 IMG_7337 IMG_7627 IMG_7310 IMG_7602 IMG_7604 IMG_7607 IMG_7611 IMG_7615 IMG_7660 IMG_7629 IMG_7631 IMG_7634 IMG_7636 IMG_7637 IMG_7638_edited IMG_7644 IMG_7656 IMG_7711 IMG_7666 IMG_7674 IMG_7679 IMG_7686 IMG_7701 IMG_7703

While some of the shopping centres were bustling with activity many others were waiting to be occupied.

IMG_7614 IMG_7116 IMG_7123 IMG_7134 IMG_7137 IMG_7149 IMG_7313 IMG_7608 IMG_7613 IMG_7658 IMG_7622 IMG_7623 IMG_7624 IMG_7625 IMG_7626 IMG_7647 IMG_7657
Every now and then I could spot a shrine done in bright colours.

IMG_7724 IMG_7122_edited IMG_7139_edited IMG_7150 IMG_7349 IMG_7606 IMG_7609 IMG_7652 IMG_7653 IMG_7667 IMG_7681 IMG_7704 IMG_7714 IMG_7716

I was impressed with some of the building designs.

IMG_7696 IMG_7142 IMG_7145 IMG_7156 IMG_7265 IMG_7593 IMG_7619 IMG_7651 IMG_7659 IMG_7672

Thanks to a stopover at Mysore, I got the opportunity to soak in the Dasara celebrations although for a short period.


The palace looked ethereal when illuminated. Sadly, my hands were full and I couldn’t capture that moment. However I got to click the illuminated arch at the Dasara exhibition and spent a lot of time at a stall selling Dasara dolls.


Dasara dolls on display at a stall in the exhibition:

IMG_7228 IMG_7211 IMG_7214 IMG_7216 IMG_7223 IMG_7224 IMG_7225 IMG_7227 IMG_7245 IMG_7230 IMG_7231 IMG_7233 IMG_7234 IMG_7237 IMG_7238 IMG_7239 IMG_7240 IMG_7243

A bird’s eye view of Mysore from the hotel window:


After an early morning breakfast of rava onion dosa, we were off to Coorg.


There were more colourful captures on my way to Coorg and on the return journey. I particularly took a fancy to this novel toilet :


I loved this picture of a grazing pony:


Here a derelict edifice stands amidst wild growth and begs for attention:


There were many of these artistic bus stops on the highway. Some of them were vandalized.


I am looking forward to more road trips and better clicks 🙂



See also:

Dasara Doll Festival – I


Dasara Doll Festival – II