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My kolam for competition rangoli


Double line kolam for competitions

Kolam or rangoli competitions require special kolam designs.  Double line or double stroke kolam as it is called may be a suitable candidate for such events.   The pictures show the steps for drawing a simple kolam design.  While rangoli competitions need filling up of colours kolam competitions usually discourage filling the kolam with colours.  However filling double stroke kolam with colours is quite easy but gives the same or better effect when compared to a single line kolam with colours filled.  The advantage is that we can save some time.   The kolam shown is a relatively simple design.  We can expand the kolam with a number of repeated designs in concentric circles. Here I have drawn only two layers of designs around the star.


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A very difficult kolam type that may be suitable for competitions is using two colours in double stroke kolam the method through steps in a few  images
 is in free hand kolam designs

14 dots common kolam with dots for competitions

This is a common kolam design drawn particularly during Margazhi.  The dot grid used is 14 by 7 on either side ( idukku pulli ) i.e there will be two rows of fourteen dots at the centre.  Mark the centre of the six star shaped designs .  The first one at the top has its centre at the 5th dot of the 2nd row.  The next two centres  are in the 5th row - 3rd dot on the left and 3rd dot at the right .  Similarly mark the centres on the bottom portion.  The rest is easy.  Draw the star shaped patters and draw the petal designs by connected the dots as shown.  I have added a few colourful lines insider the pattern.  We can fill the kolam with colours.  If we fill the entire background or space inside the kolam with colours too the kolam will look very beautiful.  Alternatively we can add a few designs inside the stars and petals with white kolamaavu.. For kolam competitions we can add more colours and free hand borders or patterns outside and inside the kolam. As usual some images showing the steps for this kolam.
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Mehndi rangoli designs for competitions


Mehndi designs can also used elaborately in rangoli designs as I have done in the next rangoli below.  The first stage shows a paisley pattern decorated with frills as we have in dresses.  The rangoli can be stopped at this stage.  The next stage shows the body of the bird being drawn with decorations and crown.  We can stop at this step  and we will get a simple bird design.  The third picture shows a beautiful bird rangoli design with a decorated tail.  We can add colours so that the design resembles a peacock.   The decorations on the picture make the bird appear near natural in the sense that dense feathers and patterns are shown.
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19 dots birds kolam for rangoli competition in college / festivals

This kolam, I have already shared through a few steps.  Now to make is more user friendly ( !) I have made a full length video of this kolam and so here I want to share it with more steps.  This  I think is not a common kolam but commonly used in our family particularly during Margazhi, or Pongal / Sankranthi.  The images are many and so I think the steps are self explanatory.   

The dot pattern is 19 dots - 9 rows, 11 dots - one row on either side, 9 dots - 4 rows on either side - ner pulli.

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After going through my blog  after just two plus years   there are more than a thousand kolam ( it is an estimate and I have not counted ) designs under various names, kolam sans dots , kolam with dots with number of dots and so on.  It has been really hard work and the support of viewers that has led to the success of Rangoli-sans-dots if I can call this 'success ' . Taking into consideration the comments and mails I have received I think I may have inspired a few youngsters to take up this beautiful and simple art of India and draw different kolam at the entrance and may be this is an important parameter for measuring success.

It is not easy balancing demands of the family and sparing time for creating and drawing kolam..  After confining myself to only kolam ( a niche that is highly restricted though I have very few posts on crafts and festivals) I feel humbled by the fact that the contents have been viewed millions of times .  I thank you all and seek the blessings of those elder to me in my endeavour.

Some articles on crafts and festivals that may be of interest are

Flower decorations for Puja
Thoranam and garland decorations for  Varalakshmi Vratham


 I am not active on my personal Facebook profile. However Facebook is very important and so I share some kolam designs with links to the videos on my Facebook page Rangolisansdots.
I am active on Google Plus amd YouTube only.  After all we need a medium to interact with the viewers.

 If I have doubts I consult my elder sisters who in my opinion are my best kolam makers after my mother.

My mother advised  us that a kolam drawn by a womam is a reflection of herself and asked us to get involved with religious fervour in drawing kolam.  The beauty of the kolam drawn by us should be measured by our love for the art and tradition and not only by the size and colours in the kolam.  So I draw  kolam daily at the entrance -  they are small and simple.
Some of the kolam I draw at the entrance have been shared at

Kolam for entrance
My kolam at vaasal for Friday

I am asked how I am able to draw perfect geometric shapes including circles.  Frankly, I must admit that I may draw relatively perfect geometric shapes most of the times.  What I draw may not be perfectly perfect !
We are humans and not computers to draw perfect shapes.  Drawing with kolapodi using fingers when factored in makes it more difficult to draw perfect shapes.  So I would request to continue to practice so that we can become relatively perfect.  For those who find it difficult to draw circles with kolapodi there is the commonly used technique of using a piece of chalk tied to a thread to get concentric circles.  I have tried both versions - drawing circles without any aid and drawing circles using a chalk piece and thread.  Please have a look .


I wanted to chose a different name for the blog, rangoli or rangoli with dots looked too common. There was a toss between kolam-sans-dots and rangoli-sans-dots.  The name rangoli-sans-dots was thought of by my husband because I invariably draw free hand rangoli at the entrance and I accepted. I  had doubts on how after naming the blog rangoli-sans-dots we could add rangoli-with-dots.  There cannot be a collection of kolam without kolam with dots ( excuse the pun ) and so we decided to add kolam with dots too.  Since there are already hundreds of designs, I would like to restrict the number of posts ( but not the number of kolam designs !).  Please also visit the older posts for newer  information.

Free hand rangoli designs is an example of rangoli-sans-dots
Kolam with dots or pulli kolam  an example of rangoli-with-dots


Some of the comments relate to what kolam should we draw for  days of the week.  I do not practise kizhamai kolam as it is called  (for Monday through Saturday ).  However, for Friday Aishwarya kolam and Hridaya kamalam are preferred and they are drawn in the Puja room.

In Rangolisansdots Hridaya Kamalam with steps is at 
Hrudaya kamala kolam

Drawing sikku kolam on Friday at the entrance is to be avoided according to my mother

There is a collection of simple sikku kolam with steps at
Sikku kolam some simple designs

I am also asked what type of kolam should be drawn at the entrance.  Kolam at the entrance conveys a message about the house.  When there is a kolam at the entrance it means that all is well in the house.  A big kolam or padi kolam ( also drawn with a kaavi border ) means that there is a function in the house ( it may be a Nitschayadhartham, marriage, house warming or Friday).  So it is preferable to draw simple kolam at the entrance on a daily basis and reserve big kolam for important functions.    When I happened to travel in some villages near Chennai I noticed this tradition being followed there.


I have used "we" many times because " Kolam by Sudha Balaji " is due to the effort of two persons Sudha Balaji.  I resigned from my job to take care of my in-laws. They were with us for more than two decades.   I needed a diversion after their time.  My husband suggested and encouraged me to try drawing kolam designs through a  website after seeing me draw simple kolam at the entrance and based on his idea Rangolisansdots was born.

If you have bookmarked a kolam or article in Rangolisansdots and you find it missing it may be because I have removed it to based on the feedback from the vistors.  Since there are hundreds of kolam  it may be possible that there are very few  similar designs under different headings.  This may also be a reason for my removing the kolam.