Free hand rangoli designs - mandala art

Kolam can also be drawn with mandala as a theme ( one of the meanings is round or circle - rangoli is commonly referred to as mandala in some countries ).  Drawing a circle ( or a near circular shape ) without using a piece of chalk tied to a thread comes with practice.  As I often say, in rangoli  practice may not make us perfect but can reduce the number of mistakes. Margazhi kolam drawn during the month of Margazhi including Pongal kolam ( aka Sankranti muggulu ) is the great time when we see big and bright and different types of designs.


It is easy to draw a free hand mandala or rangoli if we draw a baisc floral petal pattern as the centre.  Invariably in rangoli the length of the petals are almost the same except for slight differences, so that we can join the edges of the petals to form a circular pattern.  

After all, a circle is a polygon with infinite sides ( Credit - my children !  Whenever I refer to geometry in Rangolisansdots credit goes to my children only ! )
I have used this concept in the mandala below and further developed the design with free hand patterns with some influence of Warli art. 


For drawing a mandala type rangoli or kolam we need to plan a circular design that grows radially from the centre.  A simple mandala type rangoli I drew on a Friday and hence the kaavi border. The floral pattern at the centre is formed with eight petals and the gap between any two petals has cluster of three small petal motifs so that we get a near circular design that is decorated on the outside with two layers of single line borders.  The kaavi or red ochre border is usually drawn on Fridays.

Vasal kolam for Friday with Mandala theme

While Hrudaya kamal rangoli as it is also called is drawn in Puja room or Puja mandapam for Friday vasal kolam for Friday usually is a free hand or kolam with dots preferably with a kaavi border.  I share some kolam that I draw ( have drawn ) on Fridays at the entrance of my house.

There is a concept called kizhamai kolam in Tamil Nadu which roughly translates into rangoli for each day of a week - for Monday, Tuesday and so on.  I am not aware of specific kolam or rangoli for other days of a week but  Friday is considered important and auspicious for kolam or rangoli and for many other auspicious activities.  The kolam for Friday is Hridaya kamalam or lotus rangoli - it is dotted kolam design with a particular pattern of dots placed so is such a way as to get the lotus as viewed from the top.  I will devote a separate post for this kolam.

Some of the kolam designs that I draw on Fridays - there are no specific designs - only that I draw some kolam designs and usually encircle them with a kaavi powder (a red coloured powder from a type of fine sand  also called ochre powder or geru ), that will be on view here.


kolam no.1 - The first kolam in this topic.  I have started with what is probably my forte (? ) - a swastik pattern.  You will find quite a few kolam with swastik or floral designs at the centre in Rangolis-sans-dots and for that matter many a kolam design have these patterns at the centre.  Here, two swastik patterns overlapping so that you get a beautiful wheel like effect with curlicues at the edges of the arms.  Add a few curved line borders and other designs as shown to complete the design.  More kolam designs with swastik as are in Theme rangoli - swastik
kolam no.2 The next kolam design in this category of kolam that I draw on Fridays.  A combination of parallel and single line patterns.  The floral pattern at the centre is drawn with parallel lines around a circle.  A border for thi.s pattern and for the final design is with parallel lines.  Between these leaf patterns are drawn with single line  This can be drawn with parallel lines too but it will occupy more space.  Colourful kolam with floral and petal combination as theme are in rangoli - theme nature
  The third kolam in this series of vasal kolam designs that I draw at the entrance.  A free hand design with  the centre formed through spiral patterns and surrounded with curved lines.  A usual a kaavi or red ochre border reserved for Fridays and festivals.     

It is easy to draw a circular or near circular rangoli design by using a suitable design or pattern at the centre.
If we choose a floral design with floral petals it is convenient to draw a circle.  The more the petals the closer the tips of the petals are and as a result the easier it is and the better the circular shape we get around the central design.  Two of the designs I drew with floral petals are shown below.  Both have kaavi border because one was drawn on Ganesh festival and the other on a Friday.  One is drawn with double line pattern and the other with a single line pattern.



   The previous floral pattern has eight petals and the next floral pattern has sixteen petals. The more the petals easier it is to draw a circle. This is a kolam I drew at the entrance on one of the nine days during Navratri.  The thinner the lines when we draw more petals the more beautiful the design will look.         


The next day another rangoli with mandala as theme but with double lines and this  a kolam on Ayudha Pooja / Saraswathi Puja. A double line kolam with sixteen floral petals when extended results in a near circular shape. This kolam is suitable for special occasions like Sankranti or Pongal - a beautiful double line kolam.
Double line circular rangoli designs can be drawn for special occasions when kolam drawing is of prime importance - Margazhi or Dhaurmasam season till Pongal ( Sankranthi festival )

Best rangoli posts

Small rangoli with dots

9 dots or pulli kolangal