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Gulaal Gota

Context

During the Holi festival, in some parts of Rajasthan’s Jaipur, an old tradition involved playing out with colors through a unique medium called the “Gulaal Gota”, dating back around 400 years.

What is a Gulaal Gota?

  • A Gulaal Gota is a small ball made of lac, filled with dry gulaal. Weighing around 20 grams when filled with gulaal, these balls are thrown at people on Holi, getting smashed to bits on impact.
  • Making Gulaal Gotas involves first boiling the lac in water to make it flexible.
    • Lac is a resinous substance that is secreted by certain insects. It is also used to make bangles.
  • After shaping the lac, colour is added to it. After the processing is done, artisans heat the lac. It is then blown into a spherical shape with the help of a blower called “phunkni”.
  • Then, gulaal is filled in the balls before they are sealed with lac.
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