Rangoli for Diwali

Discover rangoli styles from different regions of India

By Google Arts & Culture

Designs by Culture Chauraha

Bright Colours and Stencil Used to Create Rangoli (2020-10) by Culture Chauraha

Rangoli is an ancient Hindu art form from India. Derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Rangavalli’, it means rows of colours, and is drawn in the homes, courtyards and sometime even on walls, to celebrate auspicious occasions. 

Usually made during festivals like Diwali and other Hindu festivals, and to mark milestone celebrations, they are believed to invite home the blessings of the Gods. Rangoli is made using materials like rice powder, brick powder, chalk powder, flower petals and coloured sand.

Kolam (2020-10) by Culture Chauraha

Within India, not only do rangoli designs vary from region to region, they are also called by different names. The designs go from the rustic and simple to the highly evolved and geometrically precise to the flamboyant and extravagant. They are traditionally made by girls or women and in some cases the designs are passed on from generation to generation. 

Lit Diyas in a Rangoli Design (2020-10) by Culture Chauraha

Experts believe that the practice of the art form of rangoli may be older than the epics, as it finds mention in the Ramayana.

Rangoli Created Using a Stencil (2020-10) by Culture Chauraha


The tradition of making rangoli during Diwali still thrives today and has also become a part of the popular culture. While not everyone is adept at the art of making rangoli, aids like rangoli stencils and stickers are available in plenty.

A Lit Diya (2020-10) by Culture Chauraha

Diya Rangoli

Diyas are earthen oil lamps and are a traditional part of Diwali celebrations. The name Deepawali itself means the festival of lights.

Diyas Being Lit in a Rangoli (2020-10) by Culture Chauraha


Though traditionally rows of diyas are lit around the house to banish the darkness of evil, it is also used to embellish and add beauty to rangoli designs.

Diyas in Rangoli (2020-10) by Culture Chauraha

The light from a diya symbolizes not just the end of darkness and evil, but also the brightness of knowledge and defeat of ignorance.

Kolam (2020-10) by Culture Chauraha

Kolam

The art form of rangoli is known as Kolam in the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Simpler forms are usually drawn on a daily basis, and the ones on festive occasions are usually more elaborate or larger. 

Rice Powder Used for Kolam (2020-10) by Culture Chauraha

Drawn by hand with rice powder, the intricate designs are made of symmetric lines and curved loops drawn around a pattern of dots. 

Lines and Dots Used in Kolam Designs (2020-10) by Culture Chauraha

Kolams are defined by their geometric precision and fine lines.

Aipan Rangoli from Uttarakhand (2020-10) by Culture Chauraha

Aipan

Aipan is the rangoli style that belongs to the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. 

Rice Powder Paste for Aipan Rangoli (2020-10) by Culture Chauraha

Traditionally Aipan was drawn with a paste of rice powder (bisvar) on a surface prepared with wet ochre mud called geru

Aipan Rangoli on Geru (2020-10) by Culture Chauraha


On Diwali, Laxmi Padchinha which depicts footprints of Goddess Laxmi is drawn from the main entrance of the home to the place of worship inside, as a way to welcome the goddess of wealth and ensure her blessings for the coming year. 

Aipan (2020-10) by Culture Chauraha

From the courtyards to the doorways to the place of puja inside homes, there are different Aipan designs for different occasions. 

Laxmi Padchinha in an Aipan Design (2020-10) by Culture Chauraha


The Laxmi Peeth is drawn where the idol of the Goddess is placed and worshipped on Diwali.

Flower Rangoli (2020-10) by Culture Chauraha

Flower Rangoli

Floral rangolis are very popular during Diwali as fresh flowers have always been used as offerings to Gods during puja. 

Fresh Flowers Used for Rangoli (2020-10) by Culture Chauraha

Traditionally fresh red rose petals, marigolds and mango leaves are considered auspicious and used to make the rangoli. It also leaves a rich refreshing fragrance in the air.

Freehand Rangoli with Elephant Design (2020-10) by Culture Chauraha

Freehand Rangoli

While India has a rich heritage of unique rangoli forms, freehand rangoli gives the artist the liberty to create with her imagination. Rangoli art then becomes a medium to not just celebrate traditions but to create different innovative themes. 

Transitioning to modern times, freehand rangoli has been used to cover entire streets to mark special occasions.

Stencil Used to Make Rangoli (2020-10) by Culture Chauraha

Stencils

Helping keep the tradition alive, even for those not adept in the art of rangoli are readymade stencils. 

Colour Being Sprinkled on Rangoli Stencil (2020-10) by Culture Chauraha

Flat stencils are made on silkscreens, usually with circular frames. Fine coloured powder or rice flour paste can be sieved through to transfer the design. In some places, cylindrical pipes with holed patterns are used as roller stencils. The pipe is filled with powder and rolled to create a repeating motif.

Stenciled Rangoli (2020-10) by Culture Chauraha

Detailed and elaborate DIY kits are available in the market and help people bring the age old tradition to add colour to their Diwali celebrations.

Freehand Rangoli (2020-10) by Culture Chauraha

Credits: Story

Rangoli designs by Culture Chauraha

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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