While most of us find an excuse to set up a decent Kolu, here are some sharing their elaborate and meticulous plans for this year’s Kolu.

Krishnakumari (47) of Mogappair sets up a traditional Kolu of nine-steps with new attractions each year. This year the highlight will be the Thiruchendur Temple. She aims to complete the arrangement with Surasamharam and temple praharams. Added attractions will be Mount Kailash, 12 Jothirlingam and a circus. Also a village with touring talkies, tea stall, bus stand, sweet stall, railway station, hospital and different kinds of houses such as kucha house, huts, bungalow, etc, will welcome the visitors.

Facets of the Mariamman Koil festival is sure to be the cynosure of all eyes. It will include festivities such as thee midhi, paal kudam, ear piercing function, etc.

As if these are not enough, Krishnakumari also plans to come up with a park with play area, walkers’ path, fountain and lawn with lights. Though Krishnakumari has the habit of collecting new dolls every year with which she creates her new theme, most of her dolls are handmade. Her living room and dining hall is all set to welcome visitors at Spartan Nagar. Ph: 2656 5986.

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Kalyani Muralidharan (63 years) of Mylapore wants to use the occasion for creating awareness about Indian food. To drive home the message, with as many as 400 dolls she is building a human chain around temples, park, roadside, lakes, Kolu steps, etc. Cutouts for human the human figures will be made of different types and colours of cardboards. Insertion of interesting slogans in the hands of these petite figures will make them look catchy. Myriad Indian dishes will be spalshed on charts.

A traditional Kolu of five compact steps with clay and papermache dolls will also be part of the display. To ensure difference from the usual, the dolls will be decorated with original ornaments to make them look rich and gorgeous. Krishna leelas will be displayed with the background. Jesus birth in sheep shed and Krishnas birth in jail will be displayed side-by-side. Kalyani Muralidharan of C.I.T. Colony can be reached at 95001 44940.

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T.E. Narasimhan and Vimala Narasimhan, residing at 37/5 Chakrapani Street Extension, West Mambalam, have been putting up a concept-based Kolu for nearly 4 years. Varadaraja Vaibavam, Ranganatha Vaibavam, Ramanuja Vaibavam were the concepts adopted for year 2008, 2009 and 2010 respectively. Last year the concept was Republic Day Parade.

This year’s concept is India’s freedom struggle, which will be displayed in 20 episodes. The significant feature of the Kolu is that more than 90 per cent of clay miniature dolls are made by them at home. This year, they have procured 60 per cent of clay dolls and baked them in their kilns before painting them for display.

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Along with the traditional Kolu of seven-steps, Aishwarya Naveen of Thiruvanmiyur is coming up with ‘Madurai’ as the theme.

Kal Azhagar hill, Nupura Gangai, Vaigai dam and bridge, Meenakshi Amman Temple, Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal, Pazhamudhir Cholai, jasmine gardens and Thiruparankundram is all set to bring Madurai alive at her home.

Popular festivities such as Thai Thiruvizha and Jallikattu will be part of the display! Aishwarya has created all the dolls for the theme by using materials such as thermocole, plaster of Paris, etc.

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Sheela Venkatasubramanaian of Thiruvanmiyur has planned to depict the five forms of landscapes— Kurunji (mountain), Mullai (forest), Marutham (fields in plains), Neythal (coastal), and Palai (desert).

Birds, animals, trees, occupation and staple food specific to each topography will be displayed. She said that painted pots when kept inverted can be used as mountains. Cotton will be used to depict coastal landscapes. She will make use of a new broom for fields and sand for deserts and plants and sprouts to forests. Last year her theme was Aarupadai Veedu.

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Durga Balakrishnan of West Mambalam will focus on metro-rail project this year. Last year she had displayed the metro-rail project which was under construction and now she will display certain aspects of the project which would be hopefully completed this year. She also has plans of showcasing models of malls with escalators, exhibitions, and parks. She said that she will use waste materials such as photo film, old cassette boxes,etc

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Mythili Nithyanand of Nanganallur is coming up with the traditional five-step Kolu depicting various Gods and a mega rangoli. On one side, she has plans to set up ‘Tirumala in Chennai’ depicting Lord Balaji with background of Akashaganga falls.

The other side would depict typical Tamil culture with events such as the Ayyanar Thiruvizha.

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Every year Sujatha Narayanan of Saligramam features a unique concepts of Hinduism.

This year’s theme would be “The 12 Alwars’ stories and messages.” In a unique way she will display the stories of the Alwars’ to perfection.

Sujatha will make the Kolu look as if it is kept under Aadhiseshan (five-headed snake).

With teak/bamboo wood framing all-round and wall reflecting colourful lights against a white (sheet) background with danglers, the living room will be a perfect pleasant setting for the display and visitors. The other important features of the Kolu includes ‘Burj al Arab’ — the seven-star hotel in Dubai; practical demonstration of working of GSM mobile network with towers and houses; story of womanhood — from child to woman with due comparison of rural and urban women; tennis court; Koyambedu bus stand; Ooty Botanical Garden with different type of street lights; air port; Goddess Aandal’s big portrait made of rice, etc. Sujatha Narayanan is at B4 Jain Swarna Kamal, 69 Arcot Road, Saligramam. Ph: / 9840138638.

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Usha Mukund of Adyar (Ph: 98840 77609) has selected ‘Music of India’ as this year’s topic. More than 200 dolls are handmade by Usha. Music instruments such as tabla, ektara, harmonium, dhol, dholak, gattam, veena, thambura, esraj, mridangam, palkavaj, violin, sitar, melam and edakka have been collected by her from all over the country.

A few lines of Carnatic music, devotional songs, bhajan, folk songs, kuvalai (song of farmers), gummi, Hindustani music, light and semi classical music, qawali, shabad, gazal, gana sangeet, abhang, ashtapadhi, Rabindra sangeet, Bhavageete and bauls will be played in the background.

Bhangra of Punjab, Pandavani of Chhattisgarh, Garba n Dhandiya of Gujarat, Bihu of Assam, Lavani of Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Sopana Sangeetham of Kerala, Dollu Kunitha of Karnataka, Kajri songs of Bihar will also be highlighted.

Keywords: koluplansnavratri

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