Monday, December 3, 2012

Project 1 - DIY Navaratri Golu Padi (Steps)

Come Navaratri, the first thoughts that come to mind are the beautiful display of dolls and the delicious snacks (sundal et al.) that accompany them each night!

The construction of the golu padi has been a study in structural engineering each year. Tired of pulling out cardboard boxes from storage and delicately balancing various boxes, desks and chairs in an attempt to make several parallel surfaces, this year we decided to put an end to this chore permanently by building a dedicated golu padi.

My requirements for the project were as follows:

  1. Portable design and light-weight
  2. Simple and cheap to build
I decided to go with 5 steps, but you can scale this up as required.

A trip down to the local hardware store (Lowes, in this case) fetched the following:

(2) A - 72"L x 12"W Shelf
(5) B - 48"L x 12"W Shelf
(2) C - 48"L x 4"W x 1"D Lumber
(2) D - 48"L x 2"W x 2"D Lumber
(4) E - L-Bracket
(10) 1/4" Bolt, washers and nuts

Total cost: $80

  1. If you don't care about the looks, you can use cheap lumber and reduce project cost significantly.
  2. If you don't want to cut any wood, you can take shortcuts by buying stair stringers (or risers) directly instead of the shelf material for side support. You'll find them in local hardware stores (Lowes, Home Depot etc.). I decided to use Cherry laminate shelves for custom sizes and neat look.
  3. Using bolts instead of screws makes it easy to dismantle for storage
Step 1 - Mark up the dimensions on (A) to cut into a stair pattern. I decided to go with 5 steps that stands approximately 4' tall. Use a jig or a circular saw to cut the pattern and use the first one as a template for the second piece.

Step 2 - Pre-drill 1/4" holes and attach the L-bracket to the base on either side of (A) and (C) using the 1/4" bolts. I decided to use the bolts and not screw them in so that I can dismantle it for storage.

Step 3 - Repeat the same at the top of (A).

Step 4 - Pre-drill 1/4" hole and attach (D) to make a flexible stand. Since the bottom end of (D) acts as a prop, it is easy to make the steps horizontal even if you have an uneven or sloping floor.

Step 5 - Simply place the 5 shelves (B) on each step (it's not even necessary to screw them in).

It takes less than 5 mins to set it up or take it apart (just unscrew/screw 4 bolts) and much less space to store until next year!


  1. This is awesome..wonderful info with pics... Hats Off...

  2. Amazing , Please mail me the details regarding measurement for cutting steps


  3. Thanks for the post. It really helped us a lot.

  4. Thanks for the steps! Its easy to put in this way. great Job!

  5. Nice one, thanks for the detailed step by step instruction, I just bought the materials, can u tell me what is the rise and run measurements for each steps

  6. Hi,
    This is such a nice idea. I just have one question. Is the measurement of the shelves 72 inches in Length, cause that's pretty big, and the stairs look relatively smaller in the pic for the mentioned size. Please let me know. Im planning to make this for Navaratri 2015. Thanks

  7. Shelves are 48" in length, 72 is for the plans which come on sides where u need to cut the rise and threads for the steps

  8. Chennai chairs offers 50% offer for Golu stand/Golu padi available for rupees 6500 only.

  9. Good post.what is the individual step height?

  10. Please mail me the details regarding measurement for cutting steps also i need 7 steps to
    can we opt for more length

  11. Presently I am having a 5 Steep Golu padi. I want to extend it to 7 steps. Kindly mail me the steps to be followed.
    V. Mahalingam.

  12. Hi

    We are planning to build one similar to this. Where ino US do they cut the stairs for side support of the shelves


  13. Buy your Stylish wooden Navaratri/Dushera Doll Steps(Golu Padi) that takes just a few minutes to assemble. Grab the 50% OFF Deal till stock last -only at or for more details call: +91-89399 22966

  14. Would the steps support heavy dolls without bending or structural damage???, please advise

  15. Is it available now? How will you send?

  16. Can you please post the measurements for cutting the A - 72"L x 12"W Shelf for steps please?

  17. Can you please mail me the details on

  18. Can you please send me the measurements for the stair stringers please? My id is

  19. Can you please post or send the measurements of the stairs. Email: sramam1 at gmail dot com.
    Thank you!

  20. Can some one send side step measurements

  21. Can some one send cutting side step (A - 72"L x 12"W) measurements please to

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  23. If someone wants to decorate their occasions with unique design they should try wooden decor as i think. In this we can easily know with the 5 steps of DIY Navaratri Golu Padi (Steps) that wood can decor very nicely. Thanks for this nice sharing.

  24. Thank you so much for your post _/\_

    My wife and I are keeping golu for the first time this year :-).

    Can I make a suggestion? Please read and use the book "The elements of style" by William Strunk Jr. The first edition is only $3.78 on Amazon and has everything you need to know :-)

    Happy blogging _/\_

  25. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  26. Perfect Specifications! Thanks a lot for the Post. Happy Navaratri.

  27. Thank you for the post. I like this idea better than buying precut deck stair stringer, will be trying it out. I have seen people getting wood cut at home depot, hopefully they will be able to cut the shelves for this project as well. Happy Navaratri!

  28. Wonderful idea..can you please posyme step wise the details in

  29. This is just awesome design...very simple and easy to follow! You made it even better with the 2nd tip ;-). Kudos to you!