Staying in a housing colony comes with its own share of pros and cons. One of such said cons is having to hear an earful from an aunty whe...

The Ultimate Guide To Rangoli

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Staying in a housing colony comes with its own share of pros and cons. One of such said cons is having to hear an earful from an aunty when you football misses the goal and accidently ends up landing on spoiling the rangoli she had painstakingly laid down at the entrance- and that, my folks, is my earliest surviving memory of a ‘rangoli’.

An Indian artform which has successfully managed to survive the turn of the centuries, rangoli, in its true literal sense, translates into a festive celebration of colours. Although rangoli is known by a different name and made using varied mediums in every geographical area, the main thought behind it remains the same, that is, to attract good luck.

Traditionally, rangoli is made by women on auspicious days using mediums ranging from coloured powders to flower petals. Rice too is innovatively used to make rangoli. Coloured rice rangolis and rice paste rangolis are proofs to that.

Types Of Rangoli

Pookalam from Karnataka

The type of rangoli that comes from God’s own country Kerala is known as pookalam. Made up of different variety of flowers and rice during the festival of Onam, pookalam's design is mostly flower-based. In other words, it is a floral rangoli, both design-wise and medium-wise. I had the opportunity to witness a pookalam in making first-hand when I visited my Keralite friend during Onam two years back. Although labour-intensive (with all that plucking, designing and laying) the process is very therapeutic and an amazing opportunity to socialise!  


Rice paste rangoli

In the Northern states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, a different kind of rangoli is made using ground rice paste can be seen during occasions like Chhath pooja, Satyanarayan pooja, Durga pooja and Chowk pooja. This is the type of rangoli my grandmother fondly makes. Surprisingly, white is the main colour in these rangolis, apart from the tiny doses of turmeric and vermillion.

Coloured powder rangoli 

In Western states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka, rangoli is made by using coloured powders. These coloured powders are laid down on the floor in various intricate patterns and even freestyle rangoli designs. These rangolis are made by women on the occasion of Diwali to welcome to the Goddess of wealth, Laxmi, in their homes. These rangolis are also drawn on auspicious days and on the occasion of Gudi Padwa.




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