Rangoli borders - doorways kolam

Rangoli borders for entrance for daily rangoli to Diwali rangoli designs

This post is for petite kolam that are drawn on the threshold or vaasal padi as we call them

Rangoli-sans-dots is primarily for rangolis without dots.  I have uploaded very few rangolis with dots.  I intend to post some more. Also there is a type of rangoli called arisi maavu kolam  (in Tamil).  I have to draw a few.I wrote earlier  that I have other hobbies to write about.However, I will stick to rangolis without dots, occasionally posting rangolis with dots. 

On second thought,  I should post some navaratri aarthi plates designs.  If not now then when? Aarti plates are a really important aspect of celebration of festivals like Navratri, plate art decoration is for festivals like Karva Chauth ( I understand ). So I will have to give importance to these simple and beautiful decorations that form part of the celebrations of festivals.  That will be some time later.

Simple flower kolam border

Flower designs that too with colours are awesome in rangolis


Birds border for rangoli

This is a sample of birds can be drawn as border.  I have shown three birds and the side view.  


Colourful border rangoli designs for Diwali 

This border rangoli design with diya and leaf patterns I added for Diwali 2015.  The border can be drawn in two directions as shown.  In one the diya patterns appear to hang from a support and in the other the appear to be placed on the ground.





Rangoli border decoration for Diwali 2016  - theme diyas

Two borders for rangoli I tried for Diwali 2016 with the theme diyas.  One in which the diyas are represented through rangoli and other with the greetings Happy Diwali in the rangoli decorated with actual diyas.


Diwali greetings ideas through rangoli


Some simple kolam borders / border kolam / rangoli border / side rangoli designs / muggulu borders  /  border muggulu for Sankranti or Pongal

The first pair of rangoli borders above are designed liked jewels!.  The first one has two simple rangoli borders with petals in between.  Colours are added and white dots placed to get the final design.  The second one has a floral pattern with a simple border below.  Both can be used around  a bigger rangoli and the second design at the base of a rangoli as we do occasionally.



Two pairs of muggulu borders have been drawn above.  As written in an earlier post these borders can be drawn on doorways, around a bigger rangoli or at the base of a bigger design.  The first border above is suitable for the base of rangoli because of the design.  The central pattern consists of a semicircle, a petal and    some simple free hand designs thought of spontaneously.  It is decorated with white dots and lines.  On either side creeper like designs have been drawn in white.  The second design is a floral design with four petals with leaves, in green colour on either side.

 A very simple pattern that can be used to cover a free hand or rangoli with dots.  The third design below has a repetitive pattern of what I would call a floral design. (Though it looks like a foot drawn for some festivals, in that case there are only four digits).  The border is suitable for decorating a bigger rangoli. .  The fourth one looks like a floral and jewel combination with designs on either side for symmetry.  Can be drawn around a rangoli or at the base.

Rangoli borders or border kolam designs may actually represent jewellery when it comes to beauty, intricacy - whether jewellery design is inspired by such designs or rangoli border designs are due to the inspiration we draw from beautiful jewellery!.  Two rangoli borders above that can be draw around bigger designs or independently on doorways. Don't they resemble necklace designs.


A pair of simple rangoli borders or border muggulu below.  Both are floral designs.  The first one has three flowers one with pink and other two on either side with blue petals.  All have a simple border at the base.  The second border design has a flower with a few petals as shown.  Both can be drawn at the base of a bigger rangoli or around a rangoli when we want to add some motifs.  The first one above can also be drawn as an endless design of alternate pink and blue flowers.

The third rangoli borders or kolam borders below has lotuses like designs with blue and red lotus.  It is more appropriate for doorways and can be used below or above a basic rangoli also.  The fourth border design is with spiral patterns decorated with colours and simple motifs.  It is suitable to be drawn around a rangoli. These are  rangoli borders for Diwali and other  festivals and for routine application.  There are rangoli borders drawn for Diwali  in Rangoli-sans-dots. Border rangolis - very few of them have been posted so far. 

 The pair of rangoli borders or border rangoli designs above are free hand type.  They can be drawn on the periphery of a rangoli particularly the upper one.  They can be drawn plain or with colours.  The second border is usually drawn at the bottom of rangoli like padi kolam or any other auspicious rangoli.  Both use petals or leaf like motifs.

The second pair of borders below.  The lower design can be independently drawn as a rangoli particularly for festivals like Republic Day or Independence day because of the use of colours orange, white and green.  It can also be used around a bigger rangoli for Margazhi or Diwali.  The one at the top can be used as rangoli border for any free hand rangoli, colourful

Plain white rangoli border designs / border kolam


The three borders above are among the simplest.  The first one is a simple parallel line border.  The second one is with a small improvement with dots placed on either side of the border.  The third design is the second with dots connected with curved lines.  The pair of rangoli borders below are colourful.  The first one is a simple design with leaves and tendrils of a creeper.  It can be used around a bigger rangoli.  The second one is a jewel like design for a periphery of a bigger rangoli.


After a few colourful rangoli borders a set of three borders plain and white that can be used at doorways or as borders below rangoli designs or on the sides of a design.  The second one can be used around a rangoli design while the first and third can be drawn along the base of a rangoli.  Spiral motifs and other geometric shapes have been used in the design.

Two sets of border rangoli patterns in the two photos above one with three and other with two. The border rangoli designs above, all plain for use along the periphery of a rangoli.  The first one is something similar to a bunch of grapes that is usually drawn at the bottom.  It can also be used as a part of a rangoli.


The next rangoli border in this series called border rangoli designs aka muggulu borders or side rangoli designs has a floral and leaf combination.  Probably, if you go through the images in Rangoli-sans-dots you will observe that the floral design with many intersecting lines is one of my favourites and have used in some designs.  It is quite simple to draw the free hand design to get floral petals and on either side draw the leaf patterns all plain and with white rangoli powder only to get the rangoli border, that can also be used to decorate  thresholds of houses as we do in Tamil Nadu. 

The next three borders are given below.  The first one is a simple design suitable for the circumference of a big rangoli.  The second one is a flower design with leaves on either side.  It can be drawn on the top or bottom of a rangoli or on all sides of rangoli.  The last one is a very simple design.

 They are  used on the periphery of rangolis.  Sometimes they are used as rangolis on  thresholds of doors,  exterior thresholds (main entrance door) and  interior thresholds. Obviously, they are freehand kolams plain  or with colours. They can be drawn with dots also.

More rangoli borders are in  Rangoli borders with flower designs  in Rangoli-sans-dots

  After some colourful border designs, the next one white and plain.  This is also a simple rangoli when drawn separately.  The lotus pattern is drawn by first drawing the central pattern, then petals on either sides are added. Finally more lines are drawn inside the petals to represent numerous petals (!).  Curved lines are drawn on either side of the lotus one from the bottom reaching the top and the other from the bottom of the lotus reaching the top and on the way forming the body and head of  a bird.  A lotus and bird combination.  I use it regularly even in my rangoli designs.

 This is another very simple rangoli border design that can be drawn at the base of bigger designs or on doorways or thresholds of our houses.  It consists of a few floral petals and leaf patterns.  Though it is very simple I have a video of this design in Rangolisansdots , my YouTube channel

Rangoli borders / border muggulu with leaf and petals                                       


Another border rangoli designs ( plain without colours like the previous design ) drawn using floral patterns.  Draw the pattern at the top, draw spiral designs at the intersecting points.  Draw petals around these and add thoranam like designs to get a beautiful design.

The pair of rangoli borders below are with floral designs theme.  The first border a free hand design has pink petals and creeper like designs drawn.  This can be drawn around a rangoli or on the thresholds.  The next is also a floral petal design with pink colour with alternate leaves and flower (with three petals ) arrangement.  It is meant for a rangoli border i.e around a rangoli. 


Thoranam type threshold rangoli design

Rangoli borders can be drawn at doorways too ( called vaasal padi kolam ). The doorway is also decorated with a rangoli design in addition to the rangoli drawn at the entrance.  Since only a width of 100 millimetre or so only is available, very simple yet cute and beautiful designs can be drawn in the available space.  Five such rangoli designs have been drawn below, for reference.  I have maintained the lines on the sides and changed the designs at the centre.  However we can also change the designs on both sides.  In case you would like to view the steps, a video showing how to draw these five designs is available in my YouTube channel Rangolisansdots

The next kolam border - uses thoranam for a theme.  The image I think is self-explanatory.  The thoranam like design can be drawn for decorating mantap for  festivals like Vinayaka Chathurthi  (Vinayaka Chavithi ) and Navratri.


The next rangoli border is a free hand thoranam or toran design that is drawn on the top of a rangoli.  It is quite simple with leaf patterns filled with green colour. This design has been used for Ugadi rangoli

I have posted some of this type earlier. Here some more are posted for the Navratri Dussehra rangoli season

Five common threshold rangoli designs or vasapadi kolam vaasal padi kolam





The pair of rangoli borders above can be drawn around a rangoli.  The first one is a simple free hand type decorated with two colours.  The second design is  a border design for rangolis filled wih orange and blue colours alternately to the effect.  The rangoli border below is with diyas and swastik designs and suitable to be drawn at thresholds.
Free hand border rangoli designs for Diwali
Another pair of cute and simple rangoli borders has been added.  The first design can be drawn free hand or with dots - a series of repetitive floral petals.  The second border design drawn free hand some what resembles a paisley design.  Add colours to the borders makes them look beautiful.  This pair of rangoli borders can be used to decorate saree borders and borders of other dresses.

The next rangoli border or border rangoli design.  A simple border that can be drawn at the base of rangoli.
An image showing an intermediate step to give an idea as to how this pattern proceeds.


Paisley border rangoli designs for Diwali


 Borders at the bottom of a rangoli or around it are part of decorating a rangoli design.  While borders can be drawn with dots or free hand . Rangoli-sans-dots should have some borders without dots.  Hence a border relevant to this post a jewel (necklace ) like border with a paisley design at the bottom.  These borders are actually inspired by necklace designs that are used in jewellery in India.    Festoons ( or toran or thoranam in Tamil ) are an important part of festival celebration in India.  So it is natural to have some rangoli borders or designs that depict festoons as they are used in India.

 The mango leaves as they are strung and hung at the entrance above the doorway is shown through the design below drawn with rangoli powder.  Mango designs have also been added for this post since it is a rangoli.  Hence the possibilities are infinite for paisley designs. I think these border designs could also be suitable for decorating borders of sarees and chudidars !

Deepavali doorway decoration with lamps

Lamps or deepam can be used for decorating the entrance after drawing a simple deepam border at the entrance or threshold of our homes. In this image I have used some battery operated artificial lamps. Of course these ideas can be used for Karthigai Deepam too.


Rangoli or kolam borders with dot grid and sikku kolam patterns are also quite common. One such sikku kolam border shown with steps. This can be drawn as a continuous border and we see such type of designs on the walls of temples.  The dot grid is as shown. Place  a series of dots , then above and below draw a pair of dots with intervals of one dot.  Two steps are shown for this design.  Sikku kolam borders are beautiful though simple.

Unlike the regular rangoli borders, we can also have borders exclusively for decorating the floor for festivals like Diwali.  I have tried a very simple border for this theme.  Spray two or three colours ( I have used a tea filter instead of using the fingers as I  usually do. It is some what more difficult sprinkling colours by fingers when compared to spraying them with a tea filter.  However when we use a tea filter we can get a finer and more uniform layer, easily ).  I have used three colours - yellow, blue and pink and used a simple motif that I have used many times.  One of the images shows the border at the beginning and the other after completion


Jewellery patterns as rangoli borders                                     

The rangoli border above to be drawn around the periphery of a rangoli.  It has a simple free hand design with a floral (lotus) design at the bottom.  Actually it looks like a jewel.  The plain border design below actually has four different types of designs.  All can be used as a part of a rangoli or along the border of a bigger rangoli.  The third design below also looks like a necklace, it is suitable to used around a rangoli as a design to enhance the effect.These rangoli borders are for this festival  season.  For the the first one we need some time to fill up the colours.   Almost all borders have been drawn with colours filled however plain  rangoli borders can also be drawn.

The next border design, on the left, is a simple design filled with a few colours with white lines added inside.  It can be used on the base of a bigger rangoli or as a part of a design drawn on the periphery of a larger rangoli.    Borders are petite rangolis that can be drawn independently or along the periphery of a larger rangoli.

 This kolam  border, can be drawn on either side of a bigger rangoli, a series of floral petal patterns in different colours, surrounded by a suitable double line border, filled with a colour rangoli .  

Rangoli borders can be used independently to decorate doorways and places where there is little access or they can be used at the bottom or sides of rangoli.  These can be also  used as muggulu borders for festivals like Ugadi , Navratri and Diwali  


The picture shows plain kolam borders with  flower and petal border suitable for a floral rangoli design.  The second border is simple free hand type with some simple patterns.  The third border kolam  is a leaf pattern or thoranam type that can be drawn for auspicious occasions. 
I have left them all white and plain. We can add colours to make them more beautiful.

Arisi maavu kolam or alpona borders

Of the different names under which rangoli goes arisi maavu kolam (rangoli made with rice flour paste ) in Tamil Nadu and Alpona of West Bengal are two of them.  Both have some similarities that is why I have clubbed the names together.

Arisi maavu kolam when translated means rangoli drawn with rice flour.  Tradition alpona ( I understand is also drawn with rice flour paste.  The thickness or consistency of the rice flour paste varies according to our way of drawing.  Some use only fingers to draw the kolam, some use a cloth dipped in rice flour paste.  Also presently ready-made sticks are available.  Almost all designs here have been taken when the flour is wet.  The effect changes totally when the flour dries and kolam becomes bright.

Some grind rice flour paste in a mixer and make the paste in various shapes (convenient to be held in the hand ) and dry them.  The dried rice flour cakes are used to draw the kolam.  The lines are drawn after dipping them in water to liquefy them again.

Both alpona and arisi maavu kolam are left white without filling up with colours.  Here I would like to follow the traditional method of drawing using fingers only.

The first alpona  in this series, drawn with rice flower paste.  A simple but beautiful floral design with leaves designs on either side.  After all designs from nature have their own beauty.                                  
The second and third alpona in this series in the photo below. The first one at the top is a free hand motif with simple designs as shown.  The second one is a semi-circular design with repeated patterns.  Both can be drawn as part of  or at the bottom or top of a larger design.
The next alpona design (or arisi maavu kolam - let me use both names ) is a simple free hand design with a floral petal centre expanded with petals and curved line patterns.

Corner rangoli designs or side rangoli designs or side border designs

As the name suggests, they are drawn on the corner of a bigger rangoli pattern or at the corner of a room near the wall.  They are essentially rangoli border designs.  Since they are drawn at a corner they are not exactly semi-circular in shape and  have to be drawn like a sector (part ) of a circle. Also because of the place they are drawn and also due to the size they are free hand designs. The designs below are drawn at the edge of two sides, when they are drawn near the centre of a wall a semi-circular rangoli design is possible. Many of them resemble  alpona patterns or motifs that are also  drawn with rice flour paste and hence white in colour.

The first corner design in the image below has  a few straight lines above which there are free hand petals and then borders and curved lines as we have in free hand rangoli designs

The second one has many arcs generating from the edge or point on the right corner decorated with rangoli powder and with a free hand motif that is usually found in many free hand rangoli designs
The third one has been due to the inspiration derived from mehandi designs or mehandi rangoli designs.  It looks like a very simple mehandi design, at least the central pattern does. A simple but cute design that can be drawn on side of a rangoli or at a corner.

The fourth design has more specific designs.  A lotus at the centre with simple spiral designs on either sides and a few petals and curved lines below.  The top is a pattern to suit those below.
The next design for corners of a place or corner of a rangoli is again a free hand style pattern, with tendril and leaf shaped patterns completed as shown in the image below. Such designs are used frequently in alpona patterns.

   It is natural to use flowers like lotus are used  for freehand rangoli designs with our own  decorations added to them. I have to use more lotuses and other flowers, birds and animals for my freehand rangoli.

The designs in white above can also be used for sanskar bharti corner designs, fill the background first and use the designs above.




 The one at the bottom is a freehand rangoli with some colourful lines drawn in between.  The one above has diyas filled with colours (purple) and also decorated with diyas at the periphery.    I hope the purple pink combination is  good.


  Some  kolam with a border for Pongal or Sankranti muggulu

Now through some images as examples we can see how borders can be useful not only for decorating the vasalpadi but also a kolam.  By drawing a border around a kolam the kolam becomes even more attractive.

A colourful kolam shown as an example of how borders can be used to decorate an already attractive kolam.

I had a lot of filling up of colors to do but it was worth it, given the festival season - Ugadi, Baisakhi, Tamil New Year, Ramnavami etc. I also tried to add some shades along the perimeter of some of the patterns in this rangoli.  I think overall it is beautiful.. The double line rangoli on the top is drawn first using white rangoli powder The central design is a pattern with curved lines to represent four mangoes. One more overlapping design with double lines is drawn. 

 Next a double line border is drawn.  The four edges and area between two edges is filled with patterns with single and double line rangolis.  Finally fill the place between the parallel lines with pink and blue coluours.  The border rangoli again using parallel lines and colourful lines in blue and red is drawn with colours and design to match the rangoli at the centre.  For the Tamil New year festival season.

The next kolam has may layers of borders.  The first border in green and white around the orange paisley designs and then another paisley border above and around the smaller paisley designs.  Finally one side of the outer paisleys decorated as shown.


A simple representation of a two line border for a double stroke kolam


This has two intersecting lines drawn with parallel lines! Hope I am not confusing. Two pairs of parallel lines intersecting is drawn at the centre and around this a pattern with curved lines is drawn with paralle lines (later orange rangoli powder is used to add one more curved line).  From these four curved patterns some simple designs are drawn from them and between any two of them.  Finally the kolam is completed with a floral petal like design decorated on the inside with alternate white and pink small curved patterns

I understand that traditional alpona designs of West Bengal are drawn with rice flour paste and are drawn plain and white.  Some of the plain rangoli borders drawn here are similar to alpona designs that are drawn at the entrance or threshold, particularly the second one in the first photo and the second one in the second photo so may be they can also be used as alpona designs

A video of  shows some of the borders including those in this post I have posted so far in Rangoli-sans-dots is available in my Channel Rangolisansdots.  All are free hand designs, with repetitive or symmetrical patterns as borders usually are.


  1. Raghavendra Sayee8 September 2012 at 22:16

    8 borders or 9? Is there any border in BLACK Colour?

  2. The correction has been incorporated

  3. Raghavendra Sayee9 September 2012 at 13:15

    In olden days, the leading lady of the house, after taking bath (with purity) use to draw Rangoli at the doorstep of the house. Rangoli is always drawn on clean surfaces. To clean the surface, the floor used to be broomed, sprinkled cow dung mixed water (known as anti poisonous reptiles) and then rangoli used to be drawn.

  4. Raghavendra Sayee9 September 2012 at 13:21

    The tradition of Rangoli drawing at the doorstep is welcome gesture.
    Traditional rangoli has certain important requisites and one of the most important aspects is symmetry. Whatever be the design, symmetry is upheld from all directions in the traditional patterns. The reason behind the use of such symmetry is more spiritual than for visual appeal. Symmetry is indicative of unity, well being, growth, luck and prosperity not just in Indian culture but also in cultures of different countries. Also, symmetry indicates balance of natural elements and promotes calmness of the mind and soul. Another very interesting feature of traditional rangoli designs is the use of rounded shapes rather than sharp ones. This is also a spiritual concept which depicts convergence of energies.

    White powder, which is coarsely ground rice flour, is used for rangoli. The use of rice powder is also a concept aimed at universal harmony. The rice attracts ants, small insects and birds, indicating that non-humans are welcome as well, and that all creatures need to coexist. White is also the dominant color in all designs, including the ones which use other colors. Borders and outlines are usually done in white. There is a reason for this as well. White is the color which is formed by the convergence of all colors of the universe. So, white indicates wholesomeness, unity and integration of body and soul. White is also the color of purity and is supposed to ward off evil spirits.

    All these deep concepts which are imbibed in a rangoli bring a lot of positivity, spirituality and a warm ambiance to the home. It is not without reason that you feel welcome when there is a nice design at the doorstep.

  5. Raghavendra Sayee9 September 2012 at 13:23

    Small kids learn Kolams from their granny’s or aunt’s as a way of lessons. In villages all women folk gather up in huge verandas in order to exchange new patterns and pass on the knowledge of Kolams to the younger generation. Putting Kolams is a very old tradition of south India. However, this tradition is losing its significance and is becoming extant in various metropolitan cities.

    Hats off to you for taking this art to the gen next.

  6. excellent! the way you draw is marvelous. I have learnt few designs and wish to learn more. I admire your art work

    1. Thank you. Hope you have visited my kolam YouTube Channel also

  7. AWESOME.and tutorial u given is so simple that anyone can learn rangoli as easy as and cover all types of rangoli.

  8. I was looking for karthigai deepam designs, I chanced upon your blog, superb work. Keep doing it, very useful and easy to follow. Thanks a lot.

    1. Thank you. Please visit my YouTube channel on rangoli / kolam videos and give your feed back.

  9. Hi mam...u draw beautiful kolams.. i always learn from ur kolams.... im a big fan of u... and want to learn few more kolams for christmas and new year..so pls post some kolams for us.....

    1. Thank you for your nice comment. Yes I will add new kolam. Please keep watching my YouTube channel for Christmas and New Year kolam.

    2. I have added a Christmas kolam in my YouTube Channel.

  10. very beautiful designs thank you Sudhaji


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