An aquarium near Chennai has set up an underwater display of dolls, or kolu, to give Navratri celebrations a special touch.
A YouTube video uploaded by VGP Marine Kingdom shows over 50 dolls placed on the seven-step kolu, which was inaugurated by Tamil Nadu Tourism Minister M Mathiventhan a few days ago.
Touted to be the first of their kind, the dolls were made in such a way that they can withstand salt water.
V G P Ravidas, managing director of the VGP group, said the aquarium on the East Coast Road wanted to do something innovative to attract customers.
“In December 2020, we put up a Scuba Santa, which was well received by our visitors. Last year we had a Scuba Ganesh and people even made prayers to the Ganesha. This year for Navratri, we wanted to do something unique and came up with the idea of setting up a kolu under water. There were constraints about how we can do this as no one has ever done this before. So through trial and error, we were able to achieve something that is now appreciated by the public,” he told indianexpress.com.
Two weeks before Navratri, VGP’s team of artisans brainstormed on how they could put up dolls in salt water without damaging marine life. They also wanted to ensure the dolls would not fall or float.
“Following food-grade painting, a special coating was applied on each doll to ensure the painting doesn’t come off when it is in water. Our artisans made small holes on the dolls so that the water can pass through them. We created a similar set-up in the rooms here…The dolls were put inside the water and we observed it for a couple of days and after ensuring that everything was fine, we kept it for the display,” Ravidas said.
From Lord Murugan to different avatars of Lord Vishnu to different types of Lord Ganesha to Swami Vivekananda, several dolls are on display here. Ravidass said the appreciation and support from the public gave them more confidence to come up with such initiatives.