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Rajasthani Raksha Bandhan mandana: How to draw it?
In Rajasthan, for every occasion there is a wall painting or mandana which is drawn on 'geru' colour background created with mud and the symbolic painting is done with chalk paste and a twig. The mandana is often drawn by the women of the household after taking a bath.

The auspicious day of festivity begins with a prayer in front of the mandana in the morning. In Hindu festivals, swastika sign is most important along with the drawing of a motif related to the festival. At times, the painting is enclosed with a double line border decorated with line patterns.

For example, the Raksha Bandhan mandana in Rajasthan has a round rakhi design with tying threads and a swastika design coming out of it. The ends of the the swastika end with spirals which are also indicative of the rakhi motif.

Most Raksha Bandan mandanas are a combination of rakhi, threads and swastika. Either the swastika is at the centre of rakhi design or in various segments created by line segments representing the sacred threads with stranded ends.

To draw your own madana, proceed as follows: (i) Draw two-three concentric circles and decorate them with petal patterns;  (ii) Draw a swastika coming out of the concentric circles representing rakhi;  (iii) Extend end points of the swastika into spirals; (iv) Make four curved lines coming out of the concentric circles to represent threads which cross over the swastik lines as shown; and (v) decorate the space between the spirals and make strands on the lines representing threads.

At night, an earthen oil lamp with cotton wool wick is lighted to end the festivities with a prayer or mantra before retiring to bed. In the temples, Raksha Bandhan mantra is also recited on this day. However, these traditions are slowly disappearing since market forces have taken over the festivities with all kinds of distortions, tokenism and externalisations.

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