Rangoli tips from my videos on YouTube

This information is based on the questions that were asked through comments on my videos on YouTube.  The information has been collected here so that it can be book marked for reference particularly when kolam or muggu drawing is at the peak  during Margazhi ( Dhaurmasam ) upto Pongal ( Sankranti festival ) 

1. What rangoli powder do you use

I use kolapodi as we say in Tamil Nadu purchased from the local vendor.  It is sieved to remove rough particles.  Then to three parts kola podi one part rice flour is added and mixed well.  This video shows how it is done


2. Do you make rangoli colours at home

Not at present.  I get colours from Nagpur where my sister lives .  There are many requests for rangoli colours making tutorial , so I am planning to make one

3.  Which rangoli book do you follow

There are thousands of designs in Rangoli-sans-dots blog and hundreds of videos in Rangoli-sans-dots , video Channel on YouTube.  So it is obvious that we cannot have so many designs in a book.
All free hand rangoli designs are created by me .  Actually I do not plan a free hand design and the result is usually spontaneous.  Some of these designs I try to convert into rangoli with dots.  I also create rangoli with dots in a diary regularly.  Only some of these designs are converted into videos.
Some common kolam including sikku kolam are not created by me.

4.  How many lines are to be drawn in a padi kolam

Padi kolam is usually drawn with 2, 4 or 5 lines in our family.  Three lines are not used in padi kolam.  Rarely, I would have used three lines in a part of the padi kolam ( and not the whole kolam ) when space is not available.  In such cases the fourth line I convert into a circle or dot or a geometric shape like  rhombus

5. What kolam is drawn for the Tulasi madam or Tulasi kota

Our family tradition is that we draw Aishwarya kolam or Hridaya kamalam or a small free hand rangoli  , all with a kaavi border.  We do not draw sikku kolam for Tulasi madam or in Puja room or on Friday at the entrance.


6. Where are Aishwarya kolam and Hridaya kamalam drawn

They are drawn only in the Puja room and not at the entrance.  They can also be drawn before the Tulsi plant

7.  What kolam are to be drawn for festivals like Vinayaka Chaturthi, Varalakshmi Vratham , Navratri

For these festivals we can draw a padi kolam with kaavi border at the entrance or a free hand kolam or a kolam with dots.  Sikku kolam are usually not drawn for festivals and functions.

For the Puja mantap or plank ( manai ) where the idol of Lord Ganesh or khalasam of Goddess Lakshmi is placed during Varalakshmi Vratham , we can draw Aishwarya kolam or Hridaya kamalam.

For Navratri kolu we can draw any free hand rangoli or rangoli with dots with colours or we can decorate the golu with kundan rangoli or OHP rangoli or  CD rangoli also

8.  How to draw a line with rangoli powder

Take a pinch of rangoli powder and push it with the thumb so that it falls on the outside of the index finger, simultaneously move the hand also.

9.  How do we draw thin lines with kola podi

Drawing thin lines also called ezhai comes with practice.  This lines are beautiful in their own way

10.  How do we draw double lines in kolam


Take two pinches of kola podi , place them on either side of the index finger , push both with the thumb so that one falls outside the index finger and the other falls inside the index finger and when the hand is also moved simultaneously two parallel lines are formed.

11.  What can we do when white rangoli powder is not available

Viewers in USA, Duba said that white rangoli powder is not available  there.  An alternative in such cases is that we can mix one part rice flour and one part powdered salt.    I have tried this option and it works quite well.

12.  Why is yellow rangoli powder used before the banana  leaf by some people

There is a tradition of mixing little turmeric powder to kola podi and drawing some simple designs before the banana leaf called ( nuni elai ) for festivals and functions like housewarming , Aksharabhayam etc.

14. What is a ner pulli kolam

In this type of kolam the dots are placed in such an order that the number of dots decrease by two.
For example 9 dots at the centre , 7 , 5, 3, 1 dots at the bottom and 7,5,3,1 on the top

15.  What is an idukku pulli or oodu pulli kolam

The dots of the next row are placed between the dots of the previous row .  There is some distance between the two rows.  So the dots will be for example 9 dots at the centre, 8,7,6,5 on the top
and 8,7,6,5 at the bottom

16.  Your bangles wearing style is different !

In our family tradition we combine gold and green glass bangles for right hand or if possible for both hands.  Probably it is not common  and hence considered different.!

17. I do not get perfect lines.  What should I do ?

Drawing lines and shapes in kolam  is the result  of co-ordination of the fingers, arms, eyes and mind.
Once we are able to master it , it will come easily.  We should just try and practice without thinking too much about it.  The results will be there to see.

18.  Do we have to attend classes for learning kolam ?

Kolam has been handed over from generation to generation just by observing the mother or other elders in the family drawing kolam.  My daughter has picked up the art just by watching me draw kolam for my rangoli videos for YouTube.  She is even comfortable with double line kolam.  So I think if there is no one to teach in the family  we can try to learn online by watching rangoli videos.  I would like to know your feedback on this opinion of mine.

19.  Rangoli making tips in completing it after adding colours ?

When we add colours to a rangoli drawn with white rangoli powder , some particles fall on the white design also and as a result the original rangoli becomes some what dull .
It is a good idea to draw the lines with white rangoli powder after completing the colouring  process.
Through this method the rangoli will look very bright and beautiful

20.  How to keep dots in a straight line for ner pulli or idai pulli kolam ?

First we should remember that we are drawing kolam and placing dots with our fingers only.  The angle at which we view the dot grid by bending down or sitting is not conducive to judge the straightness of the rows of dots.  ( Parallax error as my children say - this term I borrowed from my children ).  So we cannot be perfectly perfect.  We can become some  what perfect.  However , we have the nela padi or vasal padi ( the sill at the entrance of the house which is straight ).  This we can use as reference and place the first row of dots and check if they are almost parallel to the vasal padi.
The remaining dots we can place  using the first row as reference.

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