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Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Chronicle of Voices from Bombe Mane 2015

The apparent anonymity of a ‘visitors book’ seems to evoke in people an instinctive response that is often candid and perceptive.

The ‘visitors book’ kept during the celebratory carnivals of Bombe Mane, Deepa Saundarya and Kreeda Kaushalya of Ramsons Kala Pratishtana has been an eye-opener. From September 25 until November 15, hundreds passed through each day and many of them made it a point to write their comments in the visitor’s books. The comments were varied - Sometimes telling, other times pithy, a touch of trenchant criticism here and there, sometimes extravagantly fulsome praise and sometimes quite the miserly in praise.

This volume is a chronicle of voices of the hundreds who walked into Bombe Mane between September 25 and November 15th 2015. The crowds, young and old, admired the displays, some even bought several items, while several others joyfully made the exhibition venue an extension of their public addaa to stop, admire each other’s ‘buys’ or catch up on gossip.

They also paused to pen their thoughts, impressions and suggestions which are reproduced here.

The inauguration saw the Guest of Honour Dr. Veena Kumari, Director of the Postal Training Centre (PTC) in Nazarbad writing - “Beautiful collection depicting our culture. There is something for everyone...Whether it is characters from the Puranas or the latest cartoons. The effort in sourcing it from different parts of the country is appreciated.”

A fortnight later the then Deputy Commissioner of Mysuru District, C Shikha and her husband, Ajay Nagabhushana, Deputy Commissioner, Mandya, visited Bombe Mane and wrote - “Wonderful collection...Could be great if it’s a year-long event.”

 ‘This has added more colours to our traditional Dasara celebrations in Mysuru. This is my third visit.’ - PGR Scindhia, former minister, Govt. of Karnataka (Oct 21)

‘Good collection and maintained well and the patience to do so.. is appreciated.’ - Mrs. Rukumini Giri of Hotel Siddhartha (Oct 22)

While the majority of visitors were from the city and adjoining taluks, some hardcore dolls collectors had come all the way from Bengaluru and Chennai. All otherwise stated, the comments reproduced here are by from Mysureans.

Sep 25

'Beautiful collection...wonderful arrangement' - M S Das

'Brilliant is the word to describe this wonderful exhibition' - M Jonathan

'Showcasing of Mysuru culture' - H P Srinath & Shilpa

'Amazing recreation of scenes from the Ramayana in a unique and interesting way' - Gajanana referring to the diorama panels of the Ramayana

'Awesome collection' - Srikanth

'Excellent collection. Encouragement to handmade items' - G Lakkappa

'Never seen anything like this before' - Manjunath S Gowda.

Sep 26

‘Dancing girls very beautiful’ - Pratham Ramcharan

‘Quite impressive to see the vast collection of dolls of different deities under one roof. A glorious feast for the eyes of the onlooker - R V Raghuram of Kerala.

Sep 27

‘Unique--- nowhere else but at Bombe Mane’ - Shashi Jain

‘Thanks for keeping us connected to our culture’ - Dhanalakshmi

'Very beautiful to see all our cultural traditions of the past 50-70 years. No one can come up with this kind of idea in the coming years'  - Sneha R Jigalur

‘The traditional extravaganza of excellence of Mysuru is bewitchingly bewildering. The matchless collection is rare and invaluable. A visit to this is simply rewarding’ - S V Guruprasad.

'Without fail I visit Bombe Mane every year, it gives me immense joy and pleasure' - Jayashree

Sep 28

Splendid exhibition of Hindu culture through depiction of epics - Usha Venkatesh

Sep 29

'SaptaMatrika paintings highly impressive. Is there a frame-able set available' - Balkrishna and family, Chennai

'Fabulous handcrafted items' - Indushree P

Sep 30

'Entranced by Navadurga set in special display section' - Manjula Vasu

'Want more information about SaptaMatrika paintings' - Sudha, Bengaluru

Oct 1

'Fantastic, fabulous...no comments because it is beautiful' - K K Harshitha

Oct 2

'Good collection, wonderfully displayed' - Kavitha

'Good collection but rates are high' - S Chandrashekar, Bengaluru

'Try and give names of places from the dolls are from...' - S Sudhanva Kashyap

'Very nice and we always visit to buy our Dasara dolls here' - Mrs Poornima Ramu, Mandya

'Great experience...wonderful art' - A G Arun Kumar

'Nice collection' - P M Gowda, Shivamogga

‘Nice collection’ - S Chandrashekar and T S Manjula also from Bengaluru.

'Label the dolls about their origin' - Ashok, Sudhanva and Anuragha Kashyap, Dr A F Krishnamurthy and Roopa.

'We bought a KR Circle statue. Bit disappointed as it could have been better made' - Aravind Srinivas and family.

'The special displays were attractive, especially the Tamboolam section which was very informative' - Dr. Keval P Jain

'Blown away by the special display of the Tamboolam section and the large diorama of Ramayana Darshanam' - Sathya Prakash

Oct 3

'Beautiful to see such a collection of dolls at one lace which symbolise our culture and tradition. Hats off' - Dr. Muthuraj

'Very attractive ... quite an experience' - M S Suma Kiran

Oct 6

'Nice to see' - Pinki Madawela, artist

' Presentation better than last year' - Manjunath (Bengaluru)

'It is one of the best doll shows'  - Balakrishna (Surat)

'Brilliantly presented especially those on the mezzanine floor'  - Anand

Oct 8

'Idols emphasising the heritage of Mysuru are very good' - Shivu

'I enjoy visiting your gallery every time. It is a feast for the eyes'  - Chandrakala

Oct 10

'There can be only one word to describe how one feels, Fantastic'  - V Raghunath

'Eye-catching idols from mythology'  - Shruthi

'Fantastic place from which we can gain knowledge'  - Namitha

'More traditional dolls please...We came from Bengaluru and bought a whole set. Thank you' - Supriya and Nirmala Sharma ( Bengaluru)

'To me, Bombe Mane marks the beginning of Dasara'  - Vijay

'An excellent collection' - Shobha, Advocate

Oct 11

'Very good collection. Good if you give us games to play as you used to do earlier' - Likitha Singh (Bengaluru)

'Spent lots and lots of time viewing this excellent and pleasing collection' - Sudha M

'Entranced right at the entrance to see royal tradition kept alive' - Sumathi S R

'Kumbhakarna and other dolls are unique'  -Supriya Prasad

'The painting of Kale in the special display section was awesome' - Rakesh Sharma

'Nice and authentic collection'  - Yogyatha

'Good display. Nice to see the antique dolls in the special display' - Krupa (Bengaluru)

'Have been visiting since the past five years...Nice collection once again' - Suma Murthy

'Felt like visiting again and again' - T S Geethalakshmi (Bengaluru)

Oct 13

'Ramsons is like a pilgrimage to us art lovers of Mysuru... the passion and love of Ramsons is evident in this exposition' - A S R Rao

'Dolls cover a wide range of human activities of old Mysusru. The Khumbhakarna idol was very good' - A P Krishnamurthy

'Superb... the antique pieces (in the display section) are eye-catching' - Bhanu Ravindran

'Thank you for reminding us about our culture'  - Nikitha Basavaraj

'The Tamil Nadu clay idols are nice... particularly the Ramayana diorama is very informative for children'  - Subbalakshmi

'Beautiful detailed collection, pleasant music... a wonderful experience'  -  Anahita

'Thanks for the nice exhibition' - Sindhu B Murthy, Kollegal, Chamarajanagar

Oct 15

'The mythology themed dolls are fascinating and wonderful' - Shraddha N Shetty

‘As always, a wonderful experience ... extensive, beautiful and high quality collection. ...Have been a great fan since you had the show at the Ramsons near the zoo. We will be back...' - Anitha Murthy of Dalton (VA) USA

'Dolls are very impressive... the Mysuru Palace model and Dasara procession of the Maharaja was attractive' - Manoj Athreya

'Dolls are nice and attractive but costly. Please make cheaper dolls' - Ranganayaki

'Excellent presentation...New items have been added which are great to see' - Poornima

' Educational about our culture and tradition' - S M Lakshmana

'Very colourful and educative' - H P L Devaraj Urs

'Really blessed to see all these fabulous dolls' - T Saravanan

Oct 16
'Congratulations on an excellent display of dolls reflecting the cultural tradition of Mysuru. It is attractive to tourists and in a way promoting tourism of Mysuru' - Dr J V Gayathri, former Director, Archaeology, Heritage and Museums, Government of Karnataka.

'No words to express... it is wonderful' - Sumana Sudhindra

'A feast for the eyes ...' - Kusum

'Gorgeous, well planned and every possible kind of doll in one place' - Anil M

Oct 17

'What a unique collection. One visit was worth it' - Reanne Kathleen, USA

'The Nav Durga idols and the Mysuru Palace were very beautiful' - Uma, Bengaluru

 'A very creative traditional and colourful exhibition of Kannada culture' - Dinakar

'Really impressive' - Pallavi S

'Insightful creation of dolls' - Vandana Sastry

Oct 18

We had very curiously come to see the Khumbakarna idol, only to be told that it was already sold. Please keep another... it is the main attraction - Vasudha M S

'Revise the timings upto 8-30pm at least'  - Madhunandan H P

'Super!'  - Santhanam, Melukote

'You are preserving the great Indian culture and heritage tradition. You deserve our appreciation... You are an inspiration to many' - D N Purushothama Rao

'Been seeing your collection on the net but seeing them in person was extraordinary' - Shilamani, Bengaluru

Oct 19

'This year it is more colourful and attractive' - Sushmitha

'I appreciate the tireless hardwork gone into the making such exquisite dolls.. really a masterpiece'  - N K Likhitha

'Sensational and beautiful' - Shobha Radhakrishna Bhat

Oct 21

'A regular visitor for the past several years and admire the Ramayana diorama' - Sashikala K C

'An amazing place to pay a visit' - Kirthana

'You are unbelievable because I visit every year with my students and I see always new things here. Thanks to your efforts' - Hemavathi Gopal

'Beautiful collection... I will spread the news about them to all our staff' - Usha Suresh, Attibele, Bengaluru.

‘Great age-old tradition! My parents had presented me some similar dolls from Mysore when I was a child some 45 years ago.... Looking at Bombe Mane ... Nostalgic!’ - Dr. (Capt) Ritu Biyani.

Roopa B of Mysuru wants to tell all her relatives and friends about Bombe Mane she writes in the guest book on Oct 21 while P Nanda Kumar Kochi, Kerala writes - 'One of the best collections we have seen... Would suggest that you look at the prospect of doing dolls in metal and glass.'

'A sight for sore-eyes... a wonderful display of traditional dolls.' - Indushree M, Bengaluru

Oct 22

' An experience of heaven... no suggestions.' - Prabhakar N Kini

'It was a great experience. Keep the tradition alive' - Rajkumar Chakravarthy, Bengaluru

'The exhibits showcase various traditions. The themed exhibits are the best. Hopefully you have more next time’ - Arpitha Jayanth, Bengaluru

'Splendid, superb and excellent... words are not enough to praise this work. My congratulations to the organisers!' - Sarada Krishnajee

Oct 23

'Nice to tradition alive... my toddler loved it .. Thanks' - Priya Upadhyaya, Bengaluru

Oct 24

'The updattion of royal profiles is most appreciable' - S P Vidya Urs, Bengaluru

'Remembering the heritage and the history of Mysuru. Wow!' - Ashwin Srivatsa, Bengaluru

'Please make Coorg bride and bridegroom dolls .. we would be interested in them...!' - Karumbaiah P, Bengaluru

'I wish I could have them all' - Usha Apanna, Bengaluru

'Wish I can carry them all - Laxmi Nanda

'Felt like buying the whole exhibition...' - Pramod Kumar

Oct 25

'The collection of Bombes were wonderful. The introduction of traditional games are a very good attempt' - Shivani N

Oct 27

'Good experience... beautiful arrangements.. the board games were very useful for kids and adults alike' - Lokeshwar V

Nov 4

'I have never seen such a collection of traditional dolls' - K Balakrishna, Wayanad, Kerala

'No words ... beyond expectations... marvellous' - A S Najundaswamy

Friday, May 5, 2017

Bombe Mane 2016 Inauguration

14 September 2016




His Holiness Sri Vidyadheesha Tirtha Swamiji, Peetadhipati, Sri Palimaru Hrishikesha Peetha, Udupi, being welcomed by Srikanth

His Holiness Sri Ishapriya Tirtha Swamiji, Uttaradhikari, Sri Adamaru Narasimha Peetha, Udupi, being welcomed by Srikanth

Gopuja by H.H. Sri Vidyadheesha Tirtha Swamiji



Sri Ishapriya Tirtha Swamiji inaugurating the special diorama






Sri Vidyadheesha Tirtha Swamiji inaugurates Bombe Mane 2016 by lighting the lamp




Bombe Mane 2016 Inaugural Invitation



Thursday, September 8, 2016

New Dolls of 2016

Dasara Jumboo Savari Set in clay as well as paper-mesh

Somana Kunita - Kempu Soma and Bili Soma


Veeragase troupe
Unique wrestling tradition of Mysuru - Vajra Mushti Kaalaga
Karnataka Sangeeta Trimurti
L-R: Kanaka Dasa, Narada and Purandara Dasa


2016 Bombe Mane Brochure



Mysuru is gripped by the festive season of Dasara. Among multitudes of rituals, pujas and festivities, each and every household is busy mustering their doll treasures onto a temporary stepped scaffolding. This is for the annual doll festival, Bombe Habba which is a phenomenon distinctly ‘Mysuru’ in its flavour and appeal.

Ramsons Kala Pratishtana heralds this Bombe Habba with its 12th edition of Bombe Mane. A veritable congregation of dolls under one roof, each deftly crafted by the magical fingers of craftsmen and women from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and other places.

2016 marks the birth centenary of M.S. Subbulakshmi, the greatest exponent of Classical Karnataka music of this century. Bombe Mane commemorates this event by proudly introducing three new dolls depicting the divine balladeer Narada, Saint Kanaka Dasa and Saint Purandara Dasa. Narada is the first teacher of music, Purandara Dasa is the grand doyen of Karnataka music while his contemporary Kanaka Dasa is a composer par excellence. Together, they are the Karnataka Sangeetha Trimurthi.

A huge majestic elephant, caparisoned in costumed cloaks of vivid colours, walking with a steady gait, a liveried mahout seated and behind him securely fastened is the 750 kg golden howdah within which placed on a cushion is the idol of the presiding deity of the Mysuru, the Goddess Chamundeshwari. Before and behind this ponderous pachyderm, the 'Ambari Anay' (the elephant which carries the howdah), come royal attendants, the mounted corps, folk dancers and camel riders. This is the Jumboo Savari which is the cynosure of all eyes. This year, RKP has designed Jumboo Savari procession and skilled craftsmen have created the 68 pieces set in clay and paper mesh. The heroic Veeragasay troupe, Vajra Mushti wrestling scene, the folk dance-form of Somana Kunita along with the standard bearers are a part of this set.

This year's Special Display section of Bombe Mane has different themes. The recent royal wedding in Mysuru has brought joy to many a Mysurean. So the first special display section of Bombe Mane is dedicated to the weddings of the Wadiyar rulers and their kin. Rare vintage photographs of the marriages of royalties from the house of Wadiyars will be on display along with other memorabilia.

The second special display is Sri Krishna as the caretaker of cows with an emphasis on the diversity of cattle breeds of India - Amrit Mahal, Baragur, Hallikar, Javari, Kangayam, Kenkatha, Nagori, Ponwar, Lal Kandhari, Krishna, Kerighar, Khilari, Dangi, Malvi, Raathi, etc. Such diversity of heirloom cattle heritage is unique to India and this cattle legacy has nurtured thousands of generations of Indians. Bombe Mane celebrates this bovine heritage of India. Come, celebrate our land, our culture, our cattle. Come to Bombe Mane.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Miniature Kitchen Utensils - Papier Machie



This set of papier machie miniature kitchen set (Aatada Samanu in Kannada and Choppu Saman in Tamil) is made up of a traditional terracotta stove (olay), wicker basket (butti), grinder stone (rubbugallu), stone pounder (onakay-oralu), mill-stone (beesuvakallu), masala grinder (ariyuva kallu), winnow (moraa) and a pot (madikay). The cloth-stuffed doll of a female home-maker is not a part of the set. We have this kitchen set as well as the doll in stock. This makes a nice gift for children who enjoy games in which they can role-play as a home-maker. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Making of Kokeshi Dolls


In the video, Yasuo Okazaki woodturns solid blocks into the head and body using just a few tools. Okazaki’s “Naruko” style of making the dolls.

This is similar to the Channapatna lathe turned wooden dolls. Lathe turned crafts were not unlnown to India and Indian artists. We can still see hand-turned wooden game-counters and other highly artistic wooden utensils created in this craftform in Gujarat and Rajasthan. Massive chlorite schist pillars with beautiful rings in the Hoysala temples are proof of lathe turning techniques using elephants.

Mysore Maharaja sent artists from Mysore to Japan to learn modern process of wooden turning (As seen in the video) before 1950s. Upgrading their skills, artists returned to Mysore and taught the same to local artisans and set up small units to manufacture. 

Artist M.J. Shuddodhana was one of the artists who was sent to Japan and later he worked in Channapatna for a few years. At Channapatna, Shuddodhana invited two of his best students - G.L.N. Simha and another person to embellish the products with paintings.