Rangoli is an essential part of most Indian festivals — at your doorstep and in the puja place. Rangolis signify colours, vigour and festivity that we all love so much. While some families make small rangolis every morning in front of their homes, they become all the more vibrant during festivals. They differ from state to state — alpana (made with rice flour) in Bengal, kolam (made with rice flour and coloured chalk powder) in the South and floral rangolis in other places.
With Ganeshotsav celebrations in full swing, let’s beautify the entrances of our homes with these beautiful designs and let the creative juices flow. Says rangoli artist Chitra Kadam, who owns Chitra enterprises, “Rangoli is one of the easiest ways to add colour to your home. It has a visual appeal and also attracts positive energy and brings harmony. One should make rangolis everyday, even if it is a small one. However, for festivals like Ganapati, more elaborate and colourful rangolis can be made.”
Kadam, who has been making rangolis for the last 15 years now, says that the choice of material used to make the designs completely depends on the space and your creativity. You can use salt, sand, chalk powder, edible colours, gulaal, turmeric powder, kumkum and flowers too. “If you are a not an experienced rangoli maker, you can buy stencils from the market and use coloured sands, turmeric, kumkum, etc to make them. However if you know the nuances of the art well, making Ganapati-themed rangolis will add to the festive food. You must, however, ensure that the colours you choose are completely in contrast to the floor. Also, avoid mixing two colours together as they lose the brightness,” says Kadam who cautions that one must always make rangolis on a dry and clean floor.
She further explains that while making a rangoli with powder, one must begin with the outlines and follow by filling the spaces and doing the shading with colours. Some of the popular rangoli designs are peacocks, 3D effects, diyas and so on.
Of late, the demand and craze for floral rangolis has increased too.
Floral rangolis which serve the dual purpose of beautifying the home and bringing some natural fragrance are also eco-friendly and easier to make. Says rangoli artist Sudha Bharti, “Unlike powder rangoli, you do not have to be extremely cautious and there’s always scope for rectification. The natural colours of the flowers automatically add to the beauty of the designs.”
When asked about which flowers to choose, she answers, “The more colours, the better! Include a variety of flowers in all colours and sizes. From mogra to marigold, rose petals to jasmine, orchids and even some leaves will give a lot of colour to your rangoli. You can always add more charm by decorating it with some clay diyas.”