Navaratri Gollu

October 15th, 2007 by Anand

For the many years that I have seen at my home, mom would setup the Gollu every year and celebrate [tag]Navaratri[/tag] with such pomp and flair. Things to do would be planned in advanced. Gift novelties would be purchased in advance to be given to the women folks visiting every evening. Dining tables, wooden planks, empty boxes would be used to make the 9/11 steps. Our home would be busy in the evening with people coming to visit the Gollu and taste the yummie yummie sundal that she used to make. We brothers always used to sneak into the kitchen and get our share of sundal earlier than the rest of the crowd.

After marriage, we got tagged to have [tag]Gollu festival[/tag]. Last year we picked up Gollu idols during our vacation to India and this year dear MIL mailed us a big box of more bommai for the Gollu. Initially I also planned to use my mom’s idea of using up the dining table , coffee table, books & empty boxes to make the shelf but me being an engineer and big fan of the HGTV, decided to make a wooden shelf.

After goggling to check if anyone sold Gollu shelf’s in the US or if anybody had blogged about making a shelf, the result was fruitless. My first year engineering drawing and [tag]AUTO CAD[/tag] certification came handy, made a 3-D picture of the shelf that I was planning to make along with the dimensions. Decided that it would be a weekend project, I headed to Home Depot. After roaming through the aisle’s of lumber section, I wasn’t sure what I wanted but I got a rough idea off how much the price of wood varied from 1-end of the aisle to another. I approached a gentleman who was quite friendly in explaining to me the various type of wood and what would be a easy [tag]DIY[/tag] project. Things started getting crystal. I decided on what wood I need.

[tag]Home Depot[/tag] is the place to be if you love doing [tag]home improvement[/tag] projects. I paged for a handyman and gave him the dimension. He picked up the straight piece of wood for the side frame, wooden plank and cut them according to my specifications.

So below is the list of things for DIY [tag]Gollu Shelf[/tag] @ home:

  1. Power Drill( I already had it, if you don’t have it u could manage with a screw driver).
  2. Dry wall nails (the smallest box has 50 plus nails and cost roughly $5).
  3. Level meter (picked up a 3 feet level meter for $5.50).
  4. 6 no of 1X2X6 No 2 Wood (for the frame $8).
  5. 1 no of 1X6 No 12 Wood (for the platform $7).

Total cost of the project $26. Time taken 2 hrs. Check below to see the shelf.

[click here] to view the gallery.

on reader’s request design of the gollu padi

navaratri gollu padi

navaratri gollu padi

this is how compact the shelf is

closet footprint

Time to enjoy the [tag]Sundal[/tag] !!!

[tags]navaratri gollu stand, gollu stand in usa[/tags]

36 Responses to “Navaratri Gollu” »»

  1. Comment by Aparna Radhakrishnan | 10/19/08 at 2:15 pm

    golu padi idea was cool

  2. Comment by Lakshmi | 10/16/09 at 7:21 am

    My name is Lakshmi and I am coming to your blog for the first time.Is that foldable ? or easy to store. Please let me know. my email id is *********

  3. Comment by Aparna | 10/20/09 at 6:23 am

    Yes it is very much fold-able & also very compact once you dis-mantle it.

  4. Comment by Anand | 10/21/09 at 6:38 pm

    On reader’s request, uploaded the design diagram(with measurements) for the golu padi. Good Luck !!!

  5. Comment by anjana | 09/27/10 at 10:59 am

    Thanks a lot for the diagram.It is really very useful

  6. Comment by Vidya | 09/30/12 at 10:08 pm

    How do you fold it? By dismantling?

  7. Comment by Krithi | 10/10/12 at 10:18 am

    Hi Aparna
    Came across your site after searching for making Golu padi..
    Ur way seems the simplest so far .. Can you provide me step by step instructions on how to do it .. I have no hardware experience and this will be my maiden attempt.

  8. Comment by Krithi | 10/10/12 at 11:03 am

    I have a doubt with your second pictures.. it looks like there are horizontal planks on the floor .. whereas in your finished picture it is not there .. Am I missing something??

  9. Comment by vandana craftsia | 10/14/12 at 11:16 pm

    The golu padi post is so informative and nicely done..just what most people are looking for this time of the year. Happy Dussehara in advance.

  10. Comment by Aparna | 01/02/13 at 2:52 pm

    @vidya. Yes by dismantling. I will try to get a picture post dismantling. It’s very compact.
    @kirthi. The horizontal planks in pic 2 are the steps in pic 3.
    @vandana. Thanks. Yes. Every year we ourselves refer it 😉 probably we would upgrade to a bigger one this year.

  11. Comment by Arvind | 08/05/13 at 2:58 pm

    Hi Anand,

    Do you have a plan for 7 steps and/or 9 steps. Appreciate if you can update.

    Thanks in advance

  12. Comment by Aparna | 08/18/13 at 2:14 pm

    Hi Arvind.

    We don’t have a design. In case we decide to go beyond step 5 then it would probably be a new support frame.

    We Have planned for next year. Will update the blog.


  13. Comment by Sumitha Keerthivasan | 09/21/13 at 7:02 am


    Could you pls let me know whether this kolu padi is foldable is yes how many steps will be there and how to fix it. What is the cost of the same and how to procure it in chennai. Pls let me know. rgds sumitha

  14. Comment by Aparna | 09/29/13 at 6:25 am

    Hi Sumitha

    Yes its very much fold-able. It has 5 steps. The shelf is built and assembled by purchasing supplies from DIY style stores like HomeDepot, Lowes etc in the USA. Not sure how to build this in Chennai. thanks

  15. Comment by Bhavana | 10/01/13 at 1:04 pm

    Hey Aparna,

    This just looks cool. How long did it take for you to build this and also is this fold-able? can you please add the pics of the folded version?

    Happy Navarathri!

  16. Comment by Aparna | 10/04/13 at 3:59 pm

    Thanks Bhavana. my husband purchased the wood piece pre-cut from the store (they charged roughly a $1 to cut everything). Once home just took less than 30 minutes to construct the shelf. Its very much fold-able. Will upload the pic shortly. Happy Navarathri to you too.

  17. Comment by sudha | 09/08/14 at 1:08 pm

    Hi aparna,
    Have you attached the backside of platform to the stand behind? I do see the nsils in the front…not sure about backside.

  18. Comment by surya | 09/14/14 at 9:41 pm


    Came across your website while googling for instructions to make golu steps at home. Very impressive one among others, I would say. I see the wooden planks that serve as steps is not included in your list. It’s a bit confusing. can you please send me step by step instructions of how to do this? I really appreciate your effort and thanks for posting it for the benefit of others.

  19. Comment by Aparna | 09/21/14 at 2:19 pm

    Their is nothing on the black side.everything is supported by the side and the bottom frames

  20. Comment by Aparna | 09/21/14 at 2:20 pm

    Let me know what info you need. Pretty much we look at the picture every year and build the self.

  21. Comment by Sundari | 09/08/15 at 10:15 am

    Kindly Can you list little more details of the name of wood and measurements of wood planks to be asked in home depot

  22. Comment by Aparna | 09/08/15 at 10:43 am

    Hi Sundari,

    Lumber dept

    Wood type – appearance or common board . It’s normally the lowest price wood.

    Shelving wood – 1 in x 6 in x 16 feet – ask them to cut it into 5 pieces each of 3 feet. Or find a plank which is 1 inch x 6 inch x 3 feet. You might have to check the pricing on which works out cheaper

    You will have 1 feet of wastage if u buy the long plank which u can use to keep the oil lamp if u want with kollam on it.

    For the legs and railings – try to find .5 inches x 2 inches and get them cut the below nos

    2 nos of .5 feet
    2 nos of 1 feet
    2 nos of 1.5 feet
    2 nos of 2 feet
    6 nos of 2.5 feet
    2 nos of 3 feet

    We used dry wall nails (1-1/4 inches) to frame them together

    The total cost would be around 20 to 25 dollars.

    Good luck

  23. Comment by Sundari | 09/08/15 at 2:04 pm

    Thank a lot aparna

  24. Comment by Archana | 09/24/15 at 2:23 pm

    Hi Aparna,

    Thanks for the post. This is pretty neat.
    How easy or difficult is it to remove the bolts without damaging the plank?

    In the horizontal planks, I see a 2 nails that attaches it with the vertical plank below it.
    Is there a similar nail from behind that attaches it to the next higher vertical plank behind it?
    Or does the guy in the store help with the gap to fit the vertical plank exactly within the horizontal plank?


  25. Comment by Archana | 09/24/15 at 2:26 pm

    Or can I use the stair-raisers instead?

  26. Comment by Aparna | 09/24/15 at 7:52 pm

    Hi Archana

    We have been using it for quite a few yrs so there is some wear and tear during the dismantle process.

    With regards to the screw, yes the horizontal plank has a total of 4 screws. 2 at the top and 2 at the back.

    Will try to make a video this year if possible

  27. Comment by Aparna | 09/24/15 at 7:53 pm

    Yes u can but it would take more area square footage. The current one is max 6 square feet.

  28. Comment by Deepa Anantharaman | 10/03/15 at 4:22 pm

    Hi aparna

    I was almost finalised to build the kolu padi like the way you did it.But since you are using the dry wall nalis….after dismantling it ,you need to drill nee set of nail holes for next year right…please let me know how did it work for you…I have very few days left to do the kolu steps and I have to do everything myself.




  29. Comment by Aparna | 10/05/15 at 7:21 pm

    Deepa: no u don’t have to re-drill. Just re-use the holes.

  30. Anu
    Comment by Anu | 10/08/15 at 12:10 pm

    Hi Aparna,

    Can you confirm if the measurement for the base in the front is 2/5 feet?

  31. Comment by Aparna | 10/08/15 at 6:10 pm

    Anu: yes

  32. Vin
    Comment by Vin | 10/09/15 at 12:10 pm


    Why do i need 2 nos of 3 feet ?is it for the base vertical?
    I am slightly confused

  33. Comment by Aparna | 10/09/15 at 6:04 pm

    I wanted little extra on the back to hang lights. Instead of 3 feet u can pick 2 more pieces of 2.5 feet.

  34. Comment by Vandana | 08/21/17 at 3:03 pm

    Hello there the pics are useful but I was not clear how to dismantle the frame.
    Can you pls explain?

    Thanks much

  35. Comment by Anand | 08/28/17 at 10:28 am

    Hi Vandana. its all frames using a screw. Are u asking where is all the screw ? its at each point where the frames are connected.


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