Best rangoli art

If you’re a Hindu, chances are you’ve been cajoled by your mother into squatting on the floor on Diwali morning and letting your creativity loose with some rangoli powder. If not, you’ve likely seen it being crafted by street artists outside temples and homes across the country, or in the mesmerizing step-by-step tutorials posted to Instagram and TikTok by Indian women such as Kanchan Kauthale, 36, who lives in Maharashtra. Rangoli is a traditional art form that has been passed down through generations, and it’s a part of India’s annual festivals and celebrations.

It is considered to be a symbolic way of welcoming deities, wishing good luck and prosperity to friends, family, and community. The art is created on the ground, be it indoors or outdoors, and can be shaped into flowers, leaves, peacock feathers, or geometric patterns. Rangoli can be made with dry or wet materials like gulal (powder of fine-grained pigments such as turmeric and sindoor, and often mixed with water), sand, flour, and flower petals. The practice is referred to by different names across India: alpana in Bengal, aripan in Bihar and Orissa, sandhi in Gujarat, kolam in Tamil Nadu, Mandana in Rajasthan, and rangoli elsewhere.

Traditionally, rangoli art is an outdoor activity that starts with a basic outline in chalk or some other white material. Then the artist fills it with a choice of colors and shapes. Some use household materials such as spices and grains, while others purchase pre-colored rangoli powder. Adding these to the white outline creates a floral or geometric design. Typically, the designs are symmetrical and inspired by nature, deities, and mythological figures, such as elephants, Ganesa, Krishna playing his flute, and Lakshmi sitting on a lotus flower.

Find Here Best rangoli art

Some rangolis are more intricate than others, with dot grids that require a high level of precision. But there’s also a sense of playfulness with the practice that celebrates spontaneity and the unexpected, as evident in this work by Vinod V Nambiar, who makes rangoli using bamboo.

The sculptural quality of Nambiar’s work is a perfect example of the balance that exists in rangoli, which is often described as both innovative and traditional. The bamboo sprouting from the rangoli represents fertility and birth, while the patterns in coloured corn powder around it evoke sylvan beauty.

To create a rangoli, draw an outline of the desired design on the ground with chalk or sand, then carefully sprinkle the colored materials within it. For those new to rangoli, it’s best to start with a simple outline and work your way up. You can even buy ready-made stencils to make the process easier, though these are not always as intricate.

As a popular tradition among Hindus, rangoli is not only an expression of creative freedom but also a reflection of a Hindu’s personal beliefs and values. It is this connection that makes rangoli unique from other forms of modern art. It is a form of self-expression that can help us find our inner strength and courage when the world around us seems to be tumultuous.