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Deepavali Rangoli: Traditional Indian Art

Deepavali Rangoli, also known as Kolam, is a traditional art form of India that predates the ancient art of sculpture and painting. The term “Rangoli” is derive from the Sanskrit word “Rangavalli”. In this art, patterns are create on the floor of living rooms and in courtyards using materials such as coloured rice or sand, red brick powder or dry flour. Few people prepare floral Rangolis by using flowers and their petals. Chemical dyes are the latest addition to creating these patterns.

It is believed to have originate in the Indian state of Maharashtra and later spread throughout the country. Let’s discuss the Deepavali rangoli patterns and designs of all religious rituals. It is usually drawn during Indian festivals like Onam, Pongal, Diwali and others festivals.

Diwali 2022 is almost around the corner and everyone is busy making preparations to celebrate this festival of lights. In India, the main element of decoration on Diwali is lots of lights, especially Diya’s. But there is one more thing that is seen in most homes on Diwali and that is none other than Rangolis which is an ancient folk art practice made on the floor. But most of us do not know about the importance of Rangoli, its origin and why or how we draw it. This art form has a deep history behind its heyday; so let’s not waste much time and dig into the history of Rangoli and know the importance of Rangoli in detail.

Deepavali Rangoli| Astroeshop

Why do we make Deepavali Rangoli?

After knowing the origin and meaning of rangoli, let’s discuss why we do it. Making rangoli depends on one state to another. For example- Rangolis are made every morning in Hyderabad which Telugu people call muggu. They consider drawing to be scientific because it repels negative vibrations. They claim that after sweeping the floor, certain fine lines are create that have irregular frequencies and could harm the body, eyes and mind. That is why these people draw holy patterns every day after sweeping to overcome such bad vibrations and welcome good.

But if you focus on “why are rangolis drawn during Diwali ”, then the obvious answer is to please Goddess Lakshmi. Even during the Kojagari Lakshmi Puja, Rangolis (which Bengali calls Alpana) depicting the feet of Goddess Lakshmi are made to please her. Now that we know that the importance of Rangoli is only because the goddess of wealth Lakshmi is associate with it, we must make sure that we make rangolis this Diwali to please Dhan ki, Devi Lakshmi. So focus on the importance of Rangolis and draw it at the entrance on Diwali.

Deepavali Rangoli| Astroeshop

Basic philosophy about Deepavali rangoli 

Generally, rangolis are a symbol of eternity to welcome the Hindu Gods. It is believe that the gods enter the places where the rangolis are drawn. Although they add to the aesthetics, they are believe to bring prosperity and luck. Alternatively, rangoli is also believe to guard the house and prevent evil spirits from entering.

Rangolis have been an art form exclusively for women for ages. They are elaborately drawn on special occasions like festivals, weddings, auspicious events and other celebrations.

The two main purposes of creating Rangolis are to invoke spirituality or auspiciousness and to create a beautiful aesthetic. Even the Rangoli designs are not only superficial and have a deep meaning. A curved line brings a better beauty effect than a straight geometric pattern.

Diwali 2022| Astroeshop

History of Deepavali Rangoli in Tamil Nadu

In Tamil Nadu, Lady Andal, a staunch devotee of Lord Thirumala, is believe to have married the Lord in the Tamil month of Marghazhi (December 15 – January 15). So during this month, it is a tradition that unmarried girls get up before dawn and make rangolis to welcome the Lord into the house. The art form was develop in the south during the reign of the Chola kings. The designs are usually based on nature, but sometimes they are also in the form of abstract art.

Where is it drawn?

They are usually draw as elaborate and intricate patterns with lots of colors at the entrance of the house in the outer courtyard. It is a symbol of welcoming Goddess Lakshmi, bringing wealth, prosperity and happiness to the home.

Symbolic representation

The negativity that hangs in the air around the house is believe to get entangle in the intricate rangoli patterns. They ward off evil and prevent them from entering the house. This is the main reason for complicated and complex designs. Rangolis also serve as an inspiration for positive thinking that helps us lead a prosperous life.


The designs are many and vary from simple geometric patterns, flowers or petals to very complex impressions of deities. There is no limit to the size of a rangoli and it can vary from the size of a mat to covering an entire room. Rangolis can also be draw together by a large number of people. In ancient India, Rangoli was a family tradition and a way to get the whole family to spend time together. Whatever the size of the design, Indian festivals like Diwali and Pongal are incomplete without Rangoli. Also, the designs vary to reflect the traditions, practices and folklore unique to each region of India.

One important rule of thumb for rangoli design is that the entire pattern should be draw in one stroke as a continuous line. This is because it is believe that evil spirits can’t enter the house.

Rangoli Artists/Who Creates Rangolis?

Traditionally, women create Rangoli designs at home. It is a free-form art and does not require the help of geometric devices like a ruler, thread, brush and so on. Women use only their fingers and rice powder, coloured chalk or crushed lime powder to create enchanting patterns. Rangolis are decorate with flowers, beads, grains or pulses. When done with expertise, Rangolis surpass the beauty of a magnificent painting.

Preparation for Rangoli

The place where the Rangoli is to be create is thoroughly clean. The traditional custom was to sweep and sprinkle cow dung on each threshold. Once dry, Rangolis were draw on it. Today Rangolis are draw after the place is sweep and sprinkled with water. Once the site is ready, the design is decide. Specific points are place with powder on the floor. Then these points are connecte to create a specific design.

Traditional Beliefs Behind Rangolis

Traditionally, rangolis were create using only rice flour. The main reason is the principle of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” in “Sanatana Dharma” which means “the whole world is one big family”. This is based on the value of “Live and let live”. Our ancestors used rice flour to provide food for ants, insects, worms, birds and other living things in the soil.

Designs are pass down from one generation to the next. This helped preserve both the art form and the tradition.

Rangoli is known by different names in different states of India:

  • Tamil Nadu – Kolam
  • Karnataka – Rangoli
  • Kerala – Golam, Kolam, Kalam
  • Andhra Pradesh – Muggu
  • Chhattisgarh – Chaookpurna
  • Uttar Pradesh – Chowk Pujan
  • Bihar – Aripana
  • West Bengal – Alpana

Deepavali Rangoli powder

Traditionally, rice flour was use as Rangoli powder. Now, however, it is made by pounding a lustrous and brittle mineral (Shirgola) into a coarse powder. It is also made by burning rice husks to get white ash which is used as Rangoli powder. This method is use in the Konkan region, which includes parts of Maharashtra and Goa.

It is advisable to use eco-friendly paints that do not harm your skin or the little guests who enjoy your beautiful works of art.

Practice this traditional art form of India and welcome prosperity and good luck into your homes.

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