By Nithin Sridhar
Vendors and hawkers have started selling various essential commodities that would be used during the festival. The banana, its leaves and the stems are all used in the festival. The stem is used for decorating the Puja Mandap (porch like structure where the idol is seated for worship). The banana leaves are used by some people for cooking foods as well as for eating the food in a traditional manner. Bananas are also used for offering to God during puja (worship).
Apart from items like coconut, flowers, and fruits that are used during most of the Hindu festivals, the items like traditional mura (winnows) etc. which have specific uses during Gowri festival are also sold.
Winnows are used as a plate in which various items like turmeric, kumkum, cereals, rice, coconut, blouse piece, bangles, etc. are kept and the whole arrangement called as baagina is offered to Mother Gauri during the Gauri festival. Such baaginas are also exchanged among married women.
But, the main attractions of the festival are the idols of Ganapati and Gauri. The idols, especially of Ganesha, come in all sizes and colors. From unpainted clay Ganesha idol to idols painted in pink or white. In fact, the attire of the idols are embellished with a sundry colour palette.
Even the posture of Ganesha is not always the same. While some idols depict the deity in a sitting posture,others portray him standing. Moreover, some idols, show the deity playing veena or seated along with his consort.
On the other hand, Gauri idols do not have much variety. Most of the idols show only the torso of Mother Gauri and they are usually painted yellow. Some painted in pink are also available, but are lesser in number.
The setting up of pandals (platforms) for housing huge idols of Ganesha for public worship have also started at few places. The temples are also cleaning their premises and making preparations for the festival.