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Traditional mandana painting designs of Maha Shivaratri in rural Rajasthan
In Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, parts of Gujarat and Haryana, mandana paintings as wall and floor paintings are drawn to protect home and hearth, welcome Gods and Goddesses into the house and as a mark of auspicious beginning of celebrations on festive and religious occasions.

On Maha Shivaratri, there is tradition of drawing mandanas in the morning showing motifs related to the festival in simple line drawing to make an auspicious beginning. The tradition is still followed in some interior villages and these wall floor paintings are done mainly by women folk red ochre background and use of lime paste to draw the related motifs of the occasion.

According to Maya Chaudhary of rural Jaipur, in her village, ground is prepared on the wall or floor of the threshold of the house with cow dung, local pond clay and red ochre or geru. Earlier, we used to draw the motif with lime paste, but now we use chalk powder paste. The brush is made from the twig of a tree or plant, she informs but the brush can be bought from the stationery shop too these days.

She shared two designs of mandanas of Shivaratri, one showed the two closed eyes of meditative Shiva and third eye between the eyebrows open. Behind the third eye three horizonal lines were drawn to show the typical tilaka.

The other motif showed Shivalinga with two belpatras and a dripping pot above the linga. These motifs belonging to the auspicious beginning of the festival can be easily drawn as shown.

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