Friday, 27 March 2015

A Rangoli Fiesta

Rangoli is an onlooker’s delight…
But, not so delightful experience for the one who makes it…
The entire process is so time-consuming…
Believe me, you can make as much as 3 similar kolam meanwhile…

First, you have to do the outline…
Then, fill it with colors…
Then, do the outline again so that the lines get the cntrl+B look!

All said, Rangoli remains an onlooker’s delight…
And, a pride of the person who makes it!

PS: I am sorry about the symmetry. It is a little skewed L I am still an Intermediate in pottu/pulli kolam. The challenge lies in placing the dots. The distance between each dot and line must be perfect. Even a single mismatch can make the kolam look funny like mine!

PPS: Because many people asked me what a Kolam is…
Kolam refers to intricate patterns drawn both free handedly and by joining dots. These can be widely seen in the Southern part of India. Women draw this early morning, preferably before Sunrise after cleaning the courtyard. Earlier rice powder was used – it was a means to feed ants and small insects. However, these days, stone powder and even chalk is used. If such powders are used, it is called Pudi Kolam. Sometimes, brick powder will be used as outline on auspicious days, Tuesdays and Fridays. If rice powder is mixed in water and similar patterns are drawn, it is called Maavu/Maa Kolam. In West Bengal, it is called Alpona. In North India, people used rice/stone powders for the outline and fill the patterns with colors. This is called Rangoli.

It is believed that Kolam brings prosperity. It is drawn for almost all the auspicious occasions like marriages and festivals. When someone dies in the household, the family don’t draw any kolam for a year.  
Children in small towns learn the art of making kolam at a very young age. In fact, a girl who knows to draw impeccable and intricate kolam is a pride for the entire family and the village she stays. However, owing to modernization, city life and apartment culture, this art is soon dying.


  1. Hello.

    Very interesting write up on rangoli and kolam,

    Perhaps we can compare Pookalam made during Onam time in Kerala to Rangoli.

    Best wishes

    1. Thanks sir.
      I also have a collection of Pookkalam under "Album".
      May be you would like it...

  2. Thank you for educating me about your culture and fiestas. You are very festive people. I like the colors you bring in the fashion world too. :)

  3. You are undoubtedly the Kolam queen!!

    This looks so lovely!!

  4. I am a fan of your rangolis ... another beautiful pattern :-)

  5. Magnificent! There is sand-painting in parts of the USA that must take a similar concentration but looks very different. AMazing.