What is padi kolam

 Padi kolam designs of Tamil Nadu ( Awesome traditional rangoli with lines )

Traditional padi kolam are popular in South India. They have very simple and repetitive patterns.  For example, in the first rangoli aas square is formed with parallel and perpendicular lines.    The space at the centre has some simple decorations.- traditional designs or padi kolams (as they are termed in Tamil) 

They are considered to be  auspicious.  It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi likes them very much.  Though they are simple without decorations or colours, tradition has it that they are drawn  for auspicious occasions.
Since Rangoli-sans-dots is about rangoli without dots, primarily, posting of such designs is to show the wide variety of designs that are available to us as also because of the importance accorded to this type for marriages and other such functions (in Tamil Nadu, I hope it so in many other parts also ).

They are popular in southern India.  These rangolis have a kaavi ( a red colour powder) border on the periphery.  They are also free hand type.  Many designs are possible They are called padi kolam in Tamil.   These designs are simple with number of parallel and perpendicular lines drawn to create a rangoli, usually.

   Few lines at the top and few lines at the bottom.  Similarly the same number of lines on the left and then on the right.  The square formed at the centre is filled with some simple designs.  All rangolis are invariably surrounded by a pair of lines in white with a kaavi or brown border between them. I do not know when or how they came into existence. Also how, when and why they became auspicious or considered to be auspicious is not known (to me).  

Probably they were the earliest designs drawn because colours are not added to them. If  some one has authentic information please throw light on this issue. They are also called manai kolam in Tamil because similar designs are drawn on manai - a low wooden seat.  These seats are used in house warming ceremonies, marriages on which the person or persons performing the auspicious act sit cross legged.  The manai or wooden seat is decorated traditional rangoli designs and hence the name manai kolam. 

  This is a simple padi kolam with lines and spirals  and since it is a Friday a kaavi border around it. Like free hand kolam we can go on expanding padi kolam designs using patterns formed with only lines.  However, as has been and will be the theme is Rangolisansdots most kolam designs will be simple.  So one more simple padi kolam design adorns Rangolisansdots.
Padi kolam can be drawn at the entrance on Friday during the week apart from festivals and functions.  A simple padi kolam with images showing the intermediate steps.  It is preferred that padi kolam start with a square pattern at the centre.  From there we can add more patterns to get a design.  In this kolam I have used paisley or mango patterns on the four sides and hence it may be categorised as naalu moolai kolam too.

.  These rangoli have a number of parallel and perpendicular lines ( usually 2, 4, 6 however in our family we use five line also. ) used to form the patterns.  All the lines are drawn free hand with white rangoli powder or rice flour paste.  Then the design is further enhanced with more designs like inclined lines or curves or motifs.  The entire rangoli is decorated with kaavi powder (red ochre powder).

Traditional rangolis should  invariably have a kaavi border.  They are considered to be auspicious and drawn at the entrance for auspicious occasions and festivals  like Navaratri, Varalakshmi vrata. This has already been emphasized in an earlier post. 
 It is rangoli sans dots and so there is some influence of free hand designs in what ever I draw. It is just a variation I tried to make the first padi kolam more attractive.  I hope I have succeeded.
I have been trying something different (at least for me - it is possible that what I am trying has already been used or tried some where!).

Padi literally means step   It is a traditional variety of rangoli that are invariably drawn with white rangoli powder and decorated with kaavi border ( a red coloured powder probably something like red ochre ). In this case I have decorated with pink colour.

An important aspect of significance of kolam or rangoli drawn at the entrance of houses is that when this kolam with a red ochre (kaavi border ) is drawn at the entrance it can be understood that a function like house warming , baby showers is being celebrated in the house. 

Best rangoli posts

Small rangoli with dots

9 dots or pulli kolangal