art, culture & heritage






                                                        Vidhi Nagar





Rangoli is the popular floor art of India. It is an auspicious art of decorating courtyards and prayer halls in India drawn mainly by women and girls. Some women use rice flour to draw a rangoli which is the traditional medium to be used while others use sandstone or limestone powder. The designs are then colored with various colored powdered dyes. Although this floor-art is known as Rangoli commonly in many parts of India, it is known as Kolam in Tamil Nadu, Muggulu in Andhra pradesh, Rangavalli in Karnataka, Poovidal or Pookalam in Kerala, Chowkpurana in Uttar Pradesh, Madana in Rajasthan, Aripana in Bihar and Alpana in Bengal.






The colorful tradition of rangoli-making dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization (2500 B.C). Rangolis were often drawn with coarse rice flour since it served as a food source to nature's little critters like ants and crows. Rice flour is seen as an offering to Lakshmi, the goddess of rice and wealth. The goddess has the power to attract prosperity and to prevent poverty from entering the home. In this site you'll find all kinds of small and advanced rangoli designs which are made for various occasions.








The Tradition of Rangoli
Rangoli is a Hindu folk art, generally created on a floor on special festive occasions. The origin of this art can be traced to the Puranas (works on hindu mythology). Simply put, Rangoli means a row of colors. The tradition of Rangoli originated in Maharastra and slowly disseminated to other parts of India.







Rangoli, also known as Kolam in South India, Chowkpurana in Northern India, Madana in Rajasthan, Aripana in Bihar, Alpana in Bengal is the ancient Hindu religious floor art. According to a legend recorded in Chitra Lakshana, the earliest treatise on Indian painting, a king and his kingdom were steeped in sorrow at the death of the high priest's son. Everybody prayed to Lord Brahma, who moved by the prayers, asked the king to paint a portrait of the boy on the floor so that he could breathe life into it. And with that the art of floor painting came to life. And that is how rice, flour and flowers were transformed into picturesque offerings to God in the form of floor painting.



Creative Expression
'Rangoli' is a sanskrit word which means a creative expression of art through the use of color. In ancient India, rangolis were used to decorate the entrances of homes, a floor-painting which provided a warm and colorful welcome to visitors. In Indian cultures, all guests and visitors occupy a very special place, and a rangoli is an expression of this warm hospitality. In particular, the Diwali festival is widely celebrated with rangolis, since at this time, people visit each other's homes to exchange greetings and sweets.

In a rangoli, powdered colors are sprinkled on cleaned and dusted floors to form decorations. Rangolis can be vivid, three-dimensional art complete with shadings or they can be the traditional plain, yet as beautiful as, two-dimensional designs. The colored powder is usually applied 'freehand' by letting it run from the gap formed by pinching the thumb and the forefinger.

In ancient times, rangolis were actually decorations made on the entrances and walls of houses to brighten up and add color to occasions being celebrated, like weddings, births and significant religious days. They also signified a warm welcome for visitors. In fact in Maharashtra, India, housewives make them each morning. The designs would be simple and geometrical but could invoke symbolic forms. Oil lamps (diyas) would be placed in the rangoli to give it yet another dimension.

Thus, reflecting regional beliefs and aesthetics based on a common spiritual plane the art of floor painting is one which has survived all influences and retained and transmitted the spirit of Indian life.

Rangoli, also known as Alpana, Kolam and by other names is a traditional art of decorating courtyards and walls of Indian houses, places of worship and sometimes eating places as well. The powder of white stone, lime, rice flour and other paste is used to draw intricate and ritual designs.

Although Rangoli art is Maharashtrian in origin, it has become quite popular all over the country. Each state of India has its own way of painting Rangoli. One characteristic of Rangolis is that it is painted by commoners. On some special occasions like Dipavali it is painted in every home, with or without formal training in Rangoli art. The art is typically transferred from generation to generation and from friend to friend.

Traditionally Rangolis are painted or created out of colored sand/rice powder. A symmetrical pattern or picture of Gods, Goddess, Dancers, Diyas etc. is drawn and colored rice powder/sand is then layered on top to form a picture. A symmetrical rangoli pattern can be drawn on paper or card and then decorated by children with crumpled tissue paper.

Spaces can be created within the rangoli design to place diyas. One can also use flower petals of different colors such as golden marigolds, bright red roses to add that extra dimension to the pattern. With a little bit of imagination, a dash of aesthetic sense and dollops of patience, one can create a piece of art with colors.

Most of the patterns are circular indicative of the endlessness of time. The day-to-day Rangoli patterns are simple or intricate. The most common rangoli designs start with dots which are connected to form lines and other geometrical shapes such as swastika, aum, stars, squares, circles, triangles etc. These geometrical patterns must be formed in a continuous, unbroken lines.

Courtesy: Vidhi Nagar