Kolam is the auspicious floor visual art that has been practiced in south India since ages. This year, the four-day Pogal harvest festival in south India began from January 14. Come Pongal, and lanes and by-lanes of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu present a riot of colors with elaborate Kolam drawn using white and colored powders.
THOUGH KOLAM is drawn throughout the year in most homes in South India, it is especially significant during Pongal due to the time of festivities and rejoicing. Traditionally, kolam is laid in the front or side of the house.
It is held by historians that kolam tradition dates back to the Indus Valley civilization, and is listed as one of the 64 forms of art in Indian scriptures. Historical studies inform that kolam is also known to the Jains, Buddhists and Parsis. It is said that Gautama Buddha was himself an expert in this art, as per website pongalfestival.
Kolam and the bright red border enclosing it are also believed to prevent evil and undesirable elements from entering the houses.
On the day of Pongal, the kolam is drawn with rice flour that can be plain as well as coloured. Generally, parallel straight lines can be drawn using a rod to be filled with symbols of cosmic and spiritual interest.
Kalash or pot kolam is considered to be most auspicious on the occasion of pongal festival. The inset picture shows the step-wise the drawing of kalash komal. First of all using rice powder draw an inverse triangle; then the square rhombus; followed by simple decoration with lines; thereafter draw the coconut and leaves. In the end, draw a red square boarder. Happy Pongal and Happy kolam drawing!