Friday, October 24, 2014

Special Display 1 - Dances of India

Most visitors to Bombe Mane went ga ga over this special display section depicting a selection of classical dance forms of India and the Navarasa. The stuffed cloth dolls emoting and in various dance postures captured many a hearts. The huge bronze Nataraja in the centre lorded over the doll dancers.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Philateic Honour for Bombe Mane

Special Postal Cover & Cancellation Released

The Mysore Postal Division and the Postal Training centre under the aegis of the Karnataka Postal Circle, Bangalore, released a special postal cover and cancellation commemorating one of the important aspects of the Mysore Dasara, the Bombe Mane, on its 10th anniversary.

The special Bombe Mane postal cover and the special cancellation was released on 26 September 2014 by Dr. M A Saleem, Commissioner of Police, Mysore City at the valedictory celebrations of CHAMUNDIPEX-2014 at the Postal Training Centre, Nazarbad in the city. It was presented to D. Ram Singh, Chairman, Ramsons Kala Pratishtana (RKP), jointly by Dr. Saleem and Ms. Aindri Anurag, Post Master General, South Karnataka Region.

The Special Bombe Mane cover (designed by Raghu Dharmendra, Curator and Art Historian of RKP) carries the doll replica of grand Dasara Jumboo Savari procession with the Ambari elephant and Chamarajendra Circle which has been created by RKP for Bombe Mane. The cancellation (designed by Raghu Dharmendra) depicts the logo of Bombe Mane, the Garudi Gombe.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Special Display - Portable Shrines and Dances of India

Portable Shrines

‘Portable Shrines’ are representatives of enduring strands of faith that have their origins in hoary past of folk mythology.

A bare torso, colourful swathes of clothes around the waist, dots of kumkum and turmeric filling the face, whip in a hand and the precious portable shrine skillfully balanced on his head. This is Jogappa carrying Durgimurgi in the box on his head. An exquisitely painted palanquin with the figure of Marikamba is taken around followed by a retinue holding flags, parasols and standards. Both these traditions are from Karnataka. Elsewhere, a painted wooden box unravels its many doors, every inch of it painted with stories from  epics, whose divine ballads are vocalised by minstrels  – this is Kavad of Rajasthan. Painted tapestries of Phad, again from Rajasthan, depict visual episodes from the myths of Pabuji and Devnarayan. While Kalamkari cloth hangings of Srikalahasti sum-up  Indian epics, the ‘Mata-ni-Pachedi’ kalamkaris of Gujarat extol the virtues of Mother goddesses. The painted ‘Pata-chitra’ scrolls of Paschim Banga colourfully depict the legend ‘Mansa Mangal’. These are shrines that move, that travel! Amongst the  men and women carrying these shrines, some sing, some dance but all of them tell tales from the treasure trove of epics, puranas or folklore.

For this special display, Dharmanna Chitragar has created the Durgimurgi shrine, Kistappa and his son Ashok Chitragar have created the palanquin, parasols and standards while the figure of Marikamba within the palanquin is created by Ekappa Chitragar. Ranganatha Rao has created the three Soma masks while the bronzes of Lakshmi, Saraswathi and Durga are by Shilpi Mayachar. Subramaniam and his son Narasimhalu have created the Kalamkari of Sampoorna Ramayana. Ravi has created the clay tableau of Sri Rama’s Durga Puja and Navadurga dolls. Murugesh has created the golden palanquin and the silver chariot.

Dances of India

Human body reacts to extreme emotions through different degrees of movement. Rhythmic movement of feet and body to musical notes is ‘dance’ which manifests to communicate extreme joy, happiness and sometimes anger as well. India is home to myriad dance forms, both folk and classical. In fact, Shiva, one of the trimurti is the king of dance and is called ‘Nataraja’.

Major classical dance forms of India are Bharatanatya, Mohiniattam, Kathak, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Sattriya and Kathakali. Each dance form is characterized by its own costume, jewellery, music, hand gestures, stances, movements, expressions, props and some times spoken language as well. But the common thread that binds these classical dance forms together is the philosophy of expression also called as ‘Navarasa’ or nine essence of expression which are Shringara (love or romance), Hasya (comedy), Karuna (tragedy), Veera (valour), Raudra (anger), Bhaya (fear), Beebhatsa (disgust) Adbhuta (wonder), and Shanta (peace).

Beautifully crafted dolls strike various dance postures complete with costume and make-up at the second section of special display at this Bombe Mane. Smt. Jayalakshmi  has created stuffed dolls of dancers depicting Navarasa for this exclusive section. Highly detailed costume dolls of Kathakali, Mohiniattam, Kathak and Odissi have been created at the famous Shankar Doll Museum, New Delhi. The bronze Nataraja in cire purdue (lost wax process) method has been created by Shilpi Thiagarajan.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Article in Star of Mysore


‘Bombe Mane’ was inaugurated by Music University VC Dr. Sarvamangala Shankar at Pratima Gallery of Ramsons Kala Pratishtana on Nazarbad Main Road today at 6.30 pm. The expo will be open to public between 10 am and 7.30 pm everyday till Oct. 26. Entry is free. Special display section was inaugurated by Ganabharathi Hon. Secretary Vidu. Kripa Phadke.

The tradition of displaying dolls during the nine-day grand festivity is so embedded in the minds of those celebrating the festival in city that putting on show the ‘Dasara Gombe’ means a carnival in itself to many. And as always, the age old tradition that emerged to be a part of the Dasara festivities hundreds of years ago is being celebrated a big way in city, this season too, by the famous Ramsons Kala Pratishtana which has made its exclusive Dasara dolls expo — Bombe Mane, a tradition of Mysore.

But this time it’s all special unlike its previous versions. The expo has entered the 10th year of its commencement, thus promising to be richer and beautiful than all its previous editions. Overwhelmed about it, Raghu, designer at Ramsons Kala Pratishtana gushes, “It has been ten years since this beautiful show commenced at our gallery and we are pleased. We have come a long way and now, Bombe Mane is more of a Mysore tradition than just a simple Dasara dolls expo. It makes us happy that we have received a great response towards it ever since we first started it.”

And the hosts are leaving no stone unturned to make the show vibrant. This season, 10 special types of dolls have been exclusively designed and created to be displayed and sold to mark Bombe Mane’s 10th year celebrations. Explains Raghu, “this time, we have 10 new types of dolls made out of different kinds of materials, exclusively to commemorate our 10th year celebrations. All these are associated either with Mysore or the Dasara festival and only limited editions of them are available. For the first time there are exclusive, limited edition collectors pieces, representative of the quaint rituals of Mysore Dasara festivities, that have been commissioned and exquisitely hand-crafted by master artisans for the discerning few. This special collection is a reflection of the city’s cultural, social and religious heritage.

What’s more, this edition of Bombe Mane will also feature ‘Portable Shrines’ traditions. Many portable shrines are representatives of enduring strands of faith that have origins in folk mythology. Durgamurgi shrines of Karnataka, Kavads of Rajasthan, Pallakki and Jogathi traditions of Karnataka, Kalamkari tapestries of Andhra Pradesh are few representations that are featured for display at the venue this year.

And having been offering so much in the name of dolls show, the expo has succeeded in earning for itself, a few very valuable and dedicated connoisseurs, says the proud designer. “We have developed such great rapport with some of them that we eagerly wait to meet and chit chat with them while we also call a few of them to say certain specific types of dolls are available for sale, in case they would have asked for some custom made toys the previous edition. This makes Bombe Mane all the more special for us since customers are the soul of this expo.”

“And it feels great to say that the interest among people towards the tradition has been increasing and not declining with time. People visit us and purchase more toys and dolls, also asking us to showcase and sell some special forms of toys at times.”

The vibrant tradition which commenced with just the display of ‘Pattada Gombe’ at homes ages ago, has turned special with time, with people showing special interest in collecting and displaying a variety of colourful dolls, creatively each year, which has continued to keep the glory of the festival glowing as ever. — Ambika Nagaraj

Monday, September 1, 2014

Bombe Mane 2014 - Invitation

Ramsons Kala Pratishtana
Invites you to the inauguration of tenth edition of

Bombe Mane
exhibition of dolls

Inauguration of Bombe Mane
Dr. Sarvamangala Shankar
Vice-Chancellor, K.S.G.H. Music & Performing Arts University, Mysore

Inauguration of Special Display
Vidushi. Kripa Phadke
Hon. Secretary, Ganabharati, Mysore

Thursday, 04 September 2014. 6.30 pm

Pratima Gallery
91, 1 Floor, Above Aamrapali Sarees
Nazarbad Main Road, Mysore 570010
M: 9880111625

Exhibition: 5 September to 26 October 2014
10 am to 7.30 pm

Friday, August 29, 2014

Bombe Mane 2014 - Brochure

They come alive, they sing, they talk, they joke and make you laugh. Do not worry it’s not a gaffe! Looking beautiful, smiling wide, breathing gently and whispering a welcome, they softly tiptoe into your hearts. Each one of them dressed in their finest. This is Bombe Mane and ‘they’ are all dolls. No mystery here; this is the fabled doll festival of Dasara at Mysore.

Go beyond the façade of these dolls, the bright visage frozen in place and eyes that seem to have winked or glanced past you. They have been brought alive with nimble and dextrous fingers of crafts persons across the country.

In keeping with tradition, about ten new dolls have been created at the design wing of Ramsons Kala Pratishtana (RKP) for the tenth edition of ‘Bombe Mane’. The evocative murals of Durga Puja, by late artist Y. Subrahmanya Raju, in the wedding pavilion of Mysore Palace has been created as doll tableaux. Navadurga clay dolls have been fashioned according to the description given in the Sritattvanidhi of Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar. Artist Ravish of RKP converted the Mysore style figures of Sritattvanidhi into line drawings, which were the basis for the Navadurga dolls.

The Navagraha set containing the nine divine planets, according to Hindu cosmology, is fashioned to mimic its original counterpart which can be seen at many temples across south India. A mini model of the Silver Chariot, which is used in various rituals during the Dasara by the royal scion of Mysore, is eager to be part of the doll procession of your own. Ready to join them are the elephant carriage and the famed golden palanquin being drawn by two draught cattle.

Miniature kitchen set in terracotta with quaint rangoli designs and the set of mini puja paraphernalia in gold paint is a doll collector’s favourite. Mini models of Town Hall and St. Philomena’s Church will surely enliven your own Mini-Mysore.  Cute birds, animals and hordes of other dolls seem to smile; some gaily tripping, lightly skipping, large and small, flock to mingle and frolic in your home.

Here is a devotee with his precious portable shrine; his foot stomps, his throat growls, his hair twirls and face scowls. This is Jogappa carrying Maaramma or Durgamurgi deity on his head. But then, he is just a doll and this is his customary attitude. Painted tapestries of Phad, Kavad and Kalamkari hangings. These are portable shrines on the move.  

The portable shrine is a special feature in this year’s Bombe Mane. While this speaks of an unknown aspect of doll worship, the other section features dolls of various styles of classical dances titled, Dances of India. 

Come, walk into the gala land of glittering gudda and guddis and reawaken the child in you. 

Dasara is here. Celebrate and rejoice, my dear!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Golden Palanquin of Wodeyars

In a cob-webbed part of a storeroom deep in the warrens of the Mysore Palace lies a palanquin covered with burnished gold. On the penultimate day of the fortnight-long Dasara festivities it is this palanquin that would be placed in a carriage and conveyed to the great temple of the Goddess Chamundeswari on the Chamundi hill.

There the Utsava murti of the Goddess would be, after performing several rituals accompanied by the chanting of incantations, placed in the palanquin and taken in procession to Devikere for float festival.

The same palanquin is also be used by members of the Mysore royalty on important occasions like birthday, upanayana, etc. Royal house extends the rare honour of the palanquin procession to the visiting pontiff of the Sringeri Mutth and the Rajaguru of the Parakala Mutth who is the spiritual guide of the Wodeyars.

The following is the miniature model of the golden palanquin which will be unveiled at the tenth edition of Bombe Mane on 4th September 2014. A limited edition of this model is available for the doll lovers who want to enrich their doll Dasara procession.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Silver Chariot

If you have been fortunate to attend and observe at close quarters the great Dasara festivities of the past and if not, you may have stood in the great courtyard to witness the last scion of the Wodeyar Royal family coming out of the palace sitting in silver carriage drawn by a pair of draught cattle on his way to worship the Shamee tree in the precincts of the Bhuvaneshwari temple in the Palace grounds. The cattle whose distinctive clean lines and white color marks them as belong to the famous Amrit Mahal cattle breed, a heritage breed of livestock of Karnataka.

Flanking the Prince’s carriage are liveried servitors who swirl silk cloth fans (udees pavaday), yet others whisking Yak hair.

A little digression here is needed. In the 40s and 50s, youngsters would be gifted Hornby toy train sets and one would added this and that till one had a full-fledged railway station with trains coming and going. The Dasara Procession doll set is something like that. You begin with the basic set piece and keep adding other pieces till you have your own customized Dasara processions.
Bombe Mane has created a replica of the silver carriage that could be a mantel piece, a talking point on your coffee-table---or form a part of the Dasara tableaux that you will be establishing in your den or wherever you find place. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mini Kitchen Set in Terracotta

There are two kitchen sets on display. One in ochre-red earth and the other similarly painted one has been decorated with rangoli patterns.
This is a new addition to Bombe Mane 2014 which will go on display and sale from 5 September 2014.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Navadurga Dolls

Devi Parvati or Durga is propitiated in nine different forms which chronicle nine phases of her life. These nine forms of Devi are collectively called as Nava Durga. Various scriptures, puranas and agamas list different versions of Nava Durga.
The first book of Sritattvanidhi, Shakti Nidhi, lists following Nava Durgas as per Shaivagama. 

Śailaputrī, Brahmachāriṇī, Chandraghaṇṭā, Kuṣhmāṇḍā, Skandamātā, Kātyāyanī, Kālarātrī, Mahāgaurī and Siddhidātrī.
Each of these Nava Durga provides different spiritual benefits for a devotee. Together, these are worshipped during the Navaratri (Nine Nights) celebration in autumn. The first nine days of the bright lunar month of Ashwina (Ashwayuja) is celebrated as Sharannavaratri.

L-R: Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandakhanda
1. Shailaputri
Among the Nava Durgas, the first one is Shailaputri. She is the ‘Daughter of the Mountain’; she is holding a trident and rides a bull, Vrushabha.

2. Brahmacharini
Goddess Brahmacharini is the second form of Durga. Unwavering in her austerities she is the paragon of devotion. She holds a rosary in her right hand and a water pot in the left. Bliss shines forth from her face. Worship of Brahmacharini fills the devotee with happiness, peace, prosperity and grace.

3. Chandakhanda (Chandraghanta)
Chandakhanda is the third form of Durga; she lifts her right hand in abhaya mudra offering protection. Eagle is her mount. A slayer of demons, Chandakhanda is repository of power and bestows bravery on her devotees.

L-R: Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayini
4. Kushmanda
Kushmanda is the fourth form of Durga. She holds a pumpkin and pot in her hands and is seen seated on a pedestal.

5. Skanda Mata
Skanda Mata is the fifth form of the Durga. She is the mother of Skanda (Kartikeya) who is seated on her lap. Skanda Mata sits on a throne and holds lotus in both her hands.

6. Katyayini
Katyayini is the sixth form of Durga. She rides a tiger and holds a sword, Chandrahasa.
L-R: Kalaratri, Mahagauri, Siddhidayini
7. Kala Ratri
Kala Ratri, the seventh form of the Durga. This dark-complexioned Goddess sits on a throne.

8. Maha Gauri
Maha Gauri is the eighth form of Durga. This fair complexioned Goddess is seen dressed in white and riding an elephant. Her demeanor is calm, composed, intelligent and ever peaceful. She has her right hand in abhaya mudra.

9. Siddhidayini (Siddhidatri)
Siddhidatri is the ninth form of the Durga. Siddhidatri (Siddhi meaning ‘supernatural powers’ and Datri meaning ‘giver’) is the patron goddess of saints, yogis, siddha-purushas and all devotees seeking Siddhi.

Well known artist Sri K.S. Shreehari has done nine individual paintings of Nava Durga in traditional Mysore style based on the shlokas as given in Sritattvanidhi. These paintings are in the collection of Ramsons Kala Pratishtana (RKP). On request of RKP, art student Sri Ravish Kumar did line drawings based on these paintings. These drawings were given to the doll-makers at Cuddalore who created the dolls featured here, in clay.

This set of Nava Durga dolls is one of many new dolls that are specially created by RKP for Bombe Mane 2014.

In 2011 Bombe Mane, we had featured Navadurgas in the form of wooden Daiva (bhuta) figures of South Canara. You can read about it here.