Rangoli (Kolam) and its importance

Those who grew up in India would know about this art form. Beautiful patterns made on the floor using rice flour. Mesmerizing work – especially during chilly mornings!

I wrote another blog earlier on the topic about the various types of Rangoli/ kolam in different parts of the country and shared some pictures (https://learningthursdays.com/rangoli-an-art-of-decorating/). After this post, I got to learn so much more about Rangoli/kolams.

1. Kolam and Annadaanam

Making a rangoli outside our threshold using rice flour is deemed to be one of the best forms of Annadaanam (Food donations) done by us. Rice flour grain used in rangolis are eaten by ants / insects when made outdoors. Every grain is stored by ants for over 2.5 years and it adds up as food for ants. Imagine one rice grain being stored and adding up to be a food supply for 2.5 years for another species. What happens if we do it constantly. While the person doing it is filled with satisfaction and happiness of creating a beautiful piece of art, the eco system around us will also flourish in abundance bringing back a wave of positivity in our lives.

2. Hema Kannan Kolams

Then, I came to know about a person called Hema Kannan and how her Kolams define who she is and how she connects to the divine through these kolams. Impressive kolams of her as a way of expression! When one of my friend suggested her, I looked her up and saw her TED talk and her kolams.


Surprisingly, many of my friends follow her and her kolams. Was impressed to see her delivering a TED talk.. WOW 🙂

3. Bengali Alpanas

Another aspect I learned was Rangoli/Kolams are also known as Alpana! There are very specific patterns that are made by Bengalis in particular!

If you are interested in learning bengali alpanas – https://www.drikpanchang.com/rangoli/bengali/rangoli-design.html?design-id=10

4. Leela Venkataraman kolams
Indian express published an article about her last year

She is lovingly known as the keeper of kolams 🙂 Read this inspiring article about her… https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/2019/oct/14/the-keeper-of-kolams-2047061.html

She makes these kolams on fabric cloth as well. The beautiful patterns which are usually erased the next day when made outside, are captured forever on the cloth fabric and make very nice home decor.

Made by my friend Radhika with rice flour and match stick (to make the lines)

For some of us it is an art form, for others it relates to math & spirituality, for some others it is meditation or Zen zone, for few others it becomes a livelihood, for the rest of us – it is a beauty that captures our interest and brings in a smile on our faces 🙂 Inspired – I continue.

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