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Doll makers watch dismal habba bomb sales for second year in a row

As the Dasara festivities approached, doll makers and sellers began making new dolls which began to adorn many houses in Karnataka and which feature dolls as part of the habba bomb tradition. However, given that we are still in the midst of the pandemic, sales are expected to be weak for the second year in a row. Doll sellers across Karnataka continue to be concerned. “We have to understand that people don’t have money. As essentials have exploded in the midst of COVID-19, we can’t expect a quick sale of dolls. Like last year, this year too our business has another loss, so we haven’t invested much in the dolls, ”says Bharath S, who owns an arts and crafts shop in Channapatna.

Varkari tradition is the highlight of the habba bomb this year

True to the spirit of tradition, this year’s edition of Bombe Mane is expected to highlight and celebrate the Vitthala Varkari tradition of the ancient kingdom of Vijayanagara. “Vitthala is the patron deity of the three Ashtamathas of Udupi. Mythological stories say that Vitthala once visited Pandhari to appeal to Pundalika, but ended up staying there forever. Commemorating their deity’s visit to Pandharpur, devotees walk from their hometown to Pandharpur twice a year – once to have darshan on Ashadha Ekadashi and once more on Karteeka Ekadashi. This pilgrimage on foot is called Varkari. The men and women who take part in this pilgrimage carry saffron flags, the Tulasi pot and tiny cymbals, mridanga or flute in their hands. As they walk, they sing the praises of Vitthala, dance and twirl in ecstasy. This Varkari tradition is the highlight of this year’s special bomb show section, ”says RG Singh, Secretary Ramsons Kala Pratishtana.

Other highlights of the doll show for the year are the Radha Krishna and Kodanda Rama set, Sirsi’s Marikamba, Goddess Chamundeshwari, elephants and miniature models of the famous St. Philomena Church, the former Mysuru deputy commissioner’s office, the camel cart and others.

The importance of doll display

Legend has it that when the goddess Chamundeshwari fought a battle against the demon Mahishasura, all the gods and goddesses gave her all their supreme powers so that Chamundeshwari could kill Mahishasura. As the gods and goddesses grew helpless, they stood like statues. Chamundeshwari triumphed over Mahishasura on the 10th day of the war, who is celebrated as Vijayadashami. To pay homage to the sacrifice of these god and goddess, the doll festival is celebrated throughout the country. It is believed that this custom has been widespread in Karnataka since the existence of the kingdom of Vijayanagara.


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