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The Painted Floors of India

rangoli designs

Rangoli is one of the most colorful, pleasant and beautiful art forms of India. It is the art of making designs and patterns on the floor and then filling them with powdered colors or flowers. Rangoli is considered divine and is a symbol of spirituality. In some states it is still a tradition to make rangoli at the main entrance of the house, near “devghar” and near Tulsi plant.

The traditional art form includes designs and patterns based on nature, it comprises of birds, flowers, deities, mango leaves etc. The colors used were organic and mainly prepared from plant extracts. However, these colors are not in use today, the chemically prepared colors and synthetic dyes have taken over the ancient natural dyes.

Modern designs of the rangoli include a combination of geometrical patterns and nature. Majority of designs include extensive use of swastika, lotus, trident, fish, conch shell, creepers, leaves, trees, flowers, animals, etc. Today, the colors used for making Rangoli comprises of a coarse grained-powder base into which other colors are mixed.

In North India these designs are created using wet colors whereas in south India these are created with powdered colors and flowers. The art form has different names in different states of India. For instance, it is known as Chowkpurana in Uttar Pradesh, Madana in Rajasthan, Muggu in Andhra Pradesh, Rangoli in Gujarat, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Aipan (Uttarakhand, now Uttaranchal), Kolam (Kerala and Tamil Nadu), Aripana (Bihar) and Alpana (Bengal)