Rangoli, derived from the Sanskrit words “rang” (color) and “aavalli” (row of colors) and has a history that dates back thousands of years. This traditional art form is believed to have originated in the Indian subcontinent, and it has evolved over the ages. Rangoli finds its roots in various ancient Indian texts and scriptures, showcasing its deep cultural connection in which patterns are created on the floor or a table top using materials such as powdered lime stone, red ochre, dry rice flour, petals, etc. Designs and patterns are passed from generations keeping both the art form and tradition alive.
The purpose of rangoli is beyond decoration. Traditionally both powdered calcite and limestone or cereal powders are used for the basic design. The limestone is capable of preventing insects from entering the household, and the cereal powders attract insects and keep them from entering the household.
Design depictions may vary as they reflect traditions, folklore, and practices that are unique to each area.
Rangoli is more than just a beautiful decoration; it holds deep symbolic significance:
Welcoming Guests: Rangoli is often created at the entrance of homes to welcome guests and bring in positive energy. It is believed to invite good luck and keep negative vibes at bay.
Religious and Spiritual Rituals: Rangoli plays a crucial role in religious and spiritual ceremonies. It is used to decorate temples, churches, and other places of worship, symbolizing devotion and purity.
Festive Celebrations: Rangoli is an integral part of Indian festivals, especially during Diwali. The designs, colors, and patterns are chosen to enhance the festive atmosphere and celebrate the occasion.
Artistic Expression: Rangoli is a form of artistic expression, allowing individuals to showcase their creativity and imagination. It is a way for artists to connect with their cultural heritage.
Rangoli in Different Indian States
The beauty of Rangoli lies in its diversity. Each region of India has its own unique style and patterns when it comes to creating Rangoli:
Kolam (Tamil Nadu): In the southern state of Tamil Nadu, Kolam is a popular form of Rangoli, characterized by its simple yet intricate designs, often drawn using rice flour.
Alpana (West Bengal): Alpana is a traditional art form in West Bengal that closely resembles Rangoli. It is used during various celebrations and rituals, including Durga Puja.
Aripana (Bihar): In Bihar, Aripana is a well-known Rangoli style. It often features geometrical patterns and floral motifs and is created using rice paste or rice flour.
Muggu (Andhra Pradesh): Muggu is a colorful and elaborate Rangoli style in Andhra Pradesh, known for its complexity and use of vibrant colors.
Rangoli in the Modern World
Rangoli has not only stood the test of time but has also adapted to modern sensibilities. Today, artists and enthusiasts use a wide range of materials, including coloured powders, flower petals, and even acrylic paints to create Rangoli designs. It has also found a place in the world of competitions and exhibitions, making it an art form appreciated globally.
Rangoli is more than just a pretty decoration; it is a cultural treasure that has stood the test of time. This art form reflects the warmth and hospitality of India, inviting people into homes and hearts with its vibrant colors and intricate patterns. Over time, imagination and innovative ideas in rangoli art have been incorporated. Making rangolis have been commercially developed in places such as five star hotels. It’s a traditional charm, artistry abd importance continue today. As Rangoli continues to evolve and adapt, it remains a testament to the enduring spirit of Indian culture and the artistic creativity of its people.