Kolam Kolam Kolam

Shishukulam Vedics.org

WHAT IS KOLAM? _____________________________________________________ _______________________________________________ _________________________________________ _________________________________________ ____________________________ 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 23 3 4 5 6





POPULAR KOLAM MEDIUMS _______________________________________________ RANGOLI IN NORTHERN INDIA IN OTHER STATES OF INDIA! _________________________________________ _________________________________________

WHY IS KOLAM IMPORTANT FOR ŚRĪ VAISHNAVAS? ______________________ DISCIPLINING OUR DAILY LIFE ! NATURE & DAILY LIFE ! GIFT FROM THE COW ! _________________________________________

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A series of dots are laid as a grid. Smooth curved lines can be entwined around each other and around dots. so are leaves on a plant. traditional kolams are symmetrical giving it a disciplined beauty. animal sceneries and plants. Petals on a flower are arranged in symmetry. lines interlace. Innumerable complex designs and patterns can be formed using nothing more than just lines and dots. which are equally attractive. When such patterns are drawn on the ground using rice flour. Kolams are geometrical patterns created in a methodical manner. Kolam is an ancient form of South Indian motif art. 3 . paintings or sculptures. Similarly. then. Symmetry in nature is common. straight lines could be crisscrossing each other or it could be a mix of both.org a lot of free-hand drawing of designs. flowers. loop in and loop out between these dots to form patterns.WHAT IS KOLAM? We all love artwork in some form or another. birds. be it simple drawings. Modern day kolam artists also use Shishukulam Vedics. it is called kolam.

Shishukulam Vedics.ALL OVER THE HOUSE ! Kolam is drawn by the women of the house to decorate the front of the house giving it a welcoming and festive appearance. should be drawn both in the morning and in the evening. guiding infant Krishna to the place where all the snacks and goodies specially cooked for him are displayed. The thresholds of the house are decorated by kolams to remember that it is the seat of Lord Śrī Narasimha . the house is decorated with dainty little footprints to guide Śrī Krishna’s visit to the kitchen from the front door. On Śrī Jayanthi (Janmashtami) or Śrī Krishna’s birthday. While elaborate Kolams are drawn for festivals and celebrations. Kolams drawn everyday may be simple and small but traditionally.org 4 . Kolams also adorn the prayer or the pooja room.

take bath.KOLAM IN MARGHAZHI MONTH The month of Marghazhi is most important month to Śrī Vaishnavas. put kolam in her house and collect her friends and jointly sing the glory of Sriman Nārāyaṇa. Every Vaishnava temple in India have great festivity and utsavams celebrated during this One year for us. Thus this is a very special time for us Manushya’s or earth beings. Woman compete with each other to put the best kolam in their threshold and front yard. She would wake up early. 5 . Lord Krishna Himself said in Bhagavat Gita. He was like the month Marghazhi. One day for Devas is when they pray to Sriman Nārāyaṇa. I am Marghazhi“. Meaning as Shishukulam Vedics.org Marghazhi was the best month of all months. dress up. Sri Andal sung the beautiful Thirupaavai pasuram during this month to attain Sriman Narayan. The month of marghazhi is the most festive months of all. “Among the months. Marghazhi month falls between Dec 16 to Jan 14. And the month of Marghazhi is the morning time for the Devas and this is month.

It is also said that rice powder or fine sand was used in combination with colors. Lord Brahma breathed life into the kolam and thus the high priests son came back alive. 6 . Another legend says that Lord Krishna in one of his artistic mood. Thereafter.ORIGIN LEGENDS OF KOLAM There are a number of legends associated with the origin of kolam in India. With the people request. That was believed to be the first kolam drawn by some school of thought. Long ago. The King did as he was told. Lord Brahma appeared before the king and asked him to do a kolam or rangoli of the boy on the ground. Thereafter. the king undertook heavy penance to win Lord Brahma’s favor. in a kingdom. Gopika’s adopted Rangoli to express their artistic needs. so he can help his high priest. Moved by the kings prayers and knowing the purpose of the penance. a high priest's son died unexpectedly early. The priest became so miserable that he forgot to participate in the kingdoms matters. used mango juice to paint a beautiful woman. The earliest mention in regard to this art form is found in the writings on India art called Chitralakshana.org Chola rulers gave great patronage to the practice of Kolam. The woman was so magnificent that it put the apsaras or heavenly maidens to shame. Shishukulam Vedics.

It is a tradition that has been in practice for 1000’s of years. people sweep the streets. the presiding deity comes out to the streets in pompous processions. STILL GOING STEADY For ages and beyond the front yard & the threshold of houses in Southern India has been decorated by kolams. sprinkle water to pack the loose dirt and then draw elaborate kolams on dirt or tar roads. Ladies from every household jointly decorates the streets and their front yard for such ocassions. making it an ageless practice. Shishukulam Vedics. One place where kolams will never loose their importance is in the temples and in the streets around temples.org 7 . Old historical resources like the Vedas and Divya Prabandhams and literatures have mentioned kolams.AGE OLD PRACTICE. In these places. Even today to welcome dear Lord.

8 . It would simply soak the water and soon dry up. we do not have to do all that hard work. Shishukulam Vedics. it also prevents germs and other insects from infesting the house. Even if water is spilled in such floor. This vivid design pop out to the eye. We need the moisture so the powder sticks to the floor. women also use rice paste to make the kolam semi-permanent. we simply sprinkle the floor with some water and draw the Kolam with dry kolam powder. In olden days houses were built of mud mixed with straw and floors both inside and the yard were packed by dirt. Kolams are then drawn using white rice flour on this dark green floor.PREPARING THE GROUND We know that kolams originated before we had concrete or tiled floors. After the floor dries it becomes stiff and flat. Since dried cow dung has anti-septic properties. First the front and backyard was swept clean to remove loose dust and litter.org Today. Next raw wet cow-dung is spread on the dirt floor in a thin layer. it would not make the dung mushy. The dirt floor was prepared in a certain way before drawing kolam. like fresh dung. The floors look beautiful with the motifs until it is time to repack the floor with another treatment of cow dung spread. If the dung floor is really packed tight and stiff.

diluted terracotta-red clay and white kolam powder are used on special days for a festive look. But lately different mediums are being used to draw kolams. diluted rice flour paste is used to paint patterns on the floor. People prefer to use limestone powder and red clay powder or kavi for their front yard. On special occasions and festivities.org 9 . For an interesting contrast. Shishukulam Vedics.POPULAR KOLAM MEDIUMS Kolams were traditionally drawn using dried rice flour or ground rice paste only. Now-a-days we see that the rice flour kolams are just limited to the pooja rooms. The limestone powder. because of its grainy texture is easier to dribble and create smooth designs.

RANGOLI IN NORTHERN INDIA The word rangoli originated from the Sanskrit word “rang “ which means color and “aavalli “ meaning rows or creepers. The influence of rangoli an art of colorful kolam of north India has largely influenced the southern belle. Shishukulam Vedics. Their medium of this kind of art is rice paste. They decorate the stark walls and floors with elaborate designs of nature and village life. In the northern Indian villages women still compact their walls and floors with cow dung and clay mixture.org 10 . We can see a lot of colorful kolams created using the rangoli powder or colored limestone powder. red and yellow clay. Together the words signify a row of colors woven into patterns. white.

and Muggu in Andhra Pradesh. etc. dried sawdust. turmeric powder. Rangoli in Kerala famously known as pookalam. 11 . Traditional Rangoli also used natural dyes like tree bark. But every part of India has the tradition of Rangoli but are known by different names. flower petals.org made using freshly picked flowers and leaves of different kinds. Aripana in Bihar. leaves. lentils. This is rangoli Shishukulam Vedics.IN OTHER STATES OF INDIA! Rangoli is believed to have originated in the state of Maharashtra and spread to Gujarat & Karnataka . pulses. Chowk purana in Uttar Pradesh. Mandana in Rajasthan. Pookalams are laid out on festive occasion like Onam and Dashera celebrations. Alpana in Bengal. grains.

WHY IS KOLAM IMPORTANT FOR ŚRĪ VAISHNAVAS? Lakshmi Blessing : When you do something special or difficult. Piratti blesses us with various things in our life for our happiness. you want your parents or people close to you notice it and appreciate it. Similarly. She loves to see you enjoy what she has blessed you with. She would bestow her karunyam or grace on such homes.org 12 . always notices our good behavior and recommends us to Sriman Nārāyaṇa. She loves a house that has been beautifully lit. Sometimes we want to show off so bad that we go to our mother and tell her hoping she would recommend to our father for our good behavior. swept clean and attractively decorated with kolams. Shishukulam Vedics. Godess Lakshmi (or Piratti) who is mother to all of us.

pooja room and then decorate all these places with rice flour kolams. To sweep and mop the front yard. • Any food partaken by us should be consumed only after offering to Perumal and Thayar.DISCIPLINING OUR DAILY LIFE ! • Just as we brush our teeth everyday. • To clean the floor of the house. • After the lamp is lit women proceed to cook food (prasadam) for the day. light oil lamps. with which you mark the official start of the household activities of the day. kitchen. • • It is a daily practice of a Śrī Vaishnava to take an early morning bath. Shishukulam Vedics. • After which. some activities are part of a Śrī Vaishnava’s life.org 13 . threshold and put kolam to make your home welcoming to Goddess Lakshmi.

A Śrī Vaishnava by this act is caring for the helpless creatures that are part of Sriman Nārāyaṇa’s creation. The cow dung mopped floor keeps the flies & germs from the living quarters. even the mud oven are compacted with cow dung paste. the wall. Many village outdoor kitchens. insects. Even though a kolam is a decoration. Hygienic Living: The anti-septic properties of the cow dung used to prepare the floor for the kolam also ensures a pure and clean home.NATURE & DAILY LIFE ! Harmonious Living: Sri Vaishnava’s also believe in living harmoniously with the nature and other being. The cow dung also helps removing other displeasing odors. Every act of theirs is associated with a service to Lord Sriman Nārāyaṇa. by using rice flour they are offering a constant supply of food to ants.org 14 . Shishukulam Vedics. the floor. small birds and animals’ year around.

cows also give us cow dung. Dried cow dung cakes are used as fuel for cooking.GIFT FROM THE COW ! Cow is very sacred to Śrī Vaishnava’s.org 15 . Apart from the milk. Shishukulam Vedics. Sri Vaishnava’s do not consume any animal product except milk and milk products like butter. curd. Even today rural India uses cow dung for two very important household uses. 2. Every offering of cow is treated as a gift. 1. cheese and crème. Fresh diluted cow-dung has anti-septic properties and so is used for mopping and packing dirt floor.

As a bonus. Kolams are drawn first thing in the morning before sunrise or in the early hours of dawn. squatting or bending to draw the beautiful designs are physically demanding activities. Sweeping the front porch and sprinkling some water. Start your day by expressing your artistic talent.org days more pleasant. when we focus in silence on geometric and symmetric designs our mind achieves a meditative state that would make the rest of our Shishukulam Vedics. It would give us our much needed exercise. Thus making kolam a part of our waking up ritual is highly recommended.ADOPTING KOLAM IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE Today our lives have become so stationary that we women go to gyms seeking exercise. 16 . we will not only cultivate and preserve our rich and delightful tradition but also keep ourselves healthy and fit. By following simple traditional practices. The science of yoga informs us that the early morning rays of sun carries medicianal value for our health.

chalk b.CAN YOU PICK THE RIGHT ANSWER ? 1. sticks b. milk and yogurt b.org c. sand c. graph paper c. rice powder d. diluted cow dung water 17 . honey glaze Shishukulam Vedics. Traditionally Kolams by Śrī Vaishanava’s were always drawn with a. coal 2. paint d. Before the kolam is drawn the dirt floor is packed using a. dotted grid d. Kolams are drawn with help of a. ruler 3.

org c. Krishna’s foot print are drawn during from the front door to the kitchen where the snacks are displayed during a. kaavi Shishukulam Vedics. Temple Procession 6.4. Pongal b. rice floor b. fighting bull b. rice paste d. Deepavali d. What is NOT a medium of kolam drawn in households a. Śrī Jayanthi c. animals d. pencil 18 . birds c. designs 5. What does the kolams NOT represent a.

yellow & red clay b. crayons 8. Milk b. is called a. drawing 9. What does the cow NOT give us a. rangoli b.7.org c. Rangoli d. Rangoli is made using fresh picked flowers in Kerala. Which one is NOT a medium of rangoli art drawn in walls and floors of North Indian homes? a. white clay c. kolam c. Butter Shishukulam Vedics. Dung 19 . pookalam d. rice floor d.

Cow dung is used for what purpose a. Shishukulam Vedics. c. compact dirt floor build houses feed birds fill holes 11. What is a false statement about cow dung? a. b. To get Lakshmi’s blessing To be proud of their art To feed small creatures To mark the start of the day 12. b. d.10. Why Kolam is NOT important to Śrī Vaishnava’s a. d. d.org Its an anti-septic cleanser and keeps dirt floor compacted It is a fuel used in household cooking It keeps odor and flies away. 20 . c. It makes the floor black c. b.

HERE ARE THE ANSWERS ? • Traditionally Kolams by Śrī Vaishanava’s were always drawn with { ( c) rice powder } • Kolams are drawn with help of { ( c) dotted grid } • Before the kolam is drawn the dirt floor is packed using {(d) diluted cow dung water } • What does the kolams NOT represent { (a) fighting bull } • Krishna’s footprints are drawn from the front doorstep to the kitchen where the snacks are displayed during { (b) Śrī Jayanthi or Janmashtami } • What is NOT a medium of kolam drawn in households { (d) pencil } • Which one is NOT a medium of rangoli art drawn in walls and floors of North Indian homes? { (d) crayons } • Rangoli is made using fresh picked flowers in Kerala is called {( c) pookalam } • What does the cow NOT give us {( c) Rangoli } • Cow dung is used for what purpose {(a ) compact dirt floor } • Why Kolam is NOT important to Śrī Vaishnava’s { (b )To be proud of their art } Shishukulam Vedics.org • What is a false statement about cow dung? { (d) It makes the floor black  }  21 .

org 22 . Shishukulam Vedics.SIMPLE KOLAMS TO PRACTICE Put the dot grids and then try to draw lines around it.