Kolam is a type of art that most south Indian women make right at the time day break and dusk depicting the start and end of the day. I learnt this art from my grand mother, my mum and my aunts. When ever we go to my grandmother's place, a is village near Madurai in Tamil nadu, India I get the chance to draw such beautiful kolams and rangolis at the front and back yard of our house. Well whats the significance of doing this? My Grandmother used to tell me that, it is how we welcome the our Gods especially goddess Lakshmi into our home and it is also to thank sun God for bringing us a new day in the morning and to say thanks and good bye before night. where as my mom tells that there is a scientific reason behind this tradition. Generally, early in the morning when pollution level is really less and air is more cleaner and also higher in ozone content. So doing these activities will indirect benefit the person as one would receive clean O2 and This activity also makes our brains more active and alert just like doing a stretching before actual exercise, It would stimulate our concentration. What ever one assume it to be, as an art, I really enjoy making it with my family.

There are various types of kolams

Pulli kolam or kolam with dots,

kambi kolam or kolam drawn with lines,

Rangolis the colorful versions adored all over the country,

another one is Maa kolam thats made with rice floor mixed with water.

But in cities were we don't get much space to make such beauties, we could paint in front of our house - May be a smaller ones

During festivals I make beautiful rangolis or kolams in some paper and place it in the prayer room, even that makes me happy.

Step 1: Kambi Kolam With 2x2 Dots

This is just an explanation so I have used a white paper and a few colors, using a ruler could make the drawing neat but I generally prefer free hand.

This kolam is made from 4 dots (following matrix terms would be more easy to explain)

1. Keep 4 dots as if in a 2x2 matrix fashion

2. Start with the dot in a1,1, draw a straight line till b2,1

3. make a curve around the dot at b2,1 and extend it to b2,3

4. Make a curve around the dot at b2,3 and extend the line to a1,2

5. Make a curve at a1,2 and extend it to a1,1 closing the curve.

This is a simple Kambi kolam or line rangoli to start with

Step 2: Kambi Kolam With 3x3 Dots

this is a little advanced as it involves 9 dots placed in 3x3 (rXc) fashion

1. Place 9 dots in 3x3 matrix fashion

2. draw a straight line from a1,1 to c3,1 draw a curve around the dot

3. from c3,3 extend the curved line to c3,3 and draw a curve there as shown in the image

4 extend from c3,3 to a1,3 and draw a curve and extend the line to a1,1 nad close the curve

5 start from a1,2 draw a line to b2,1 and make a curve around the dot and extend it c3,2 and draw a curve

6. extend the curve to b2,3 and draw a curve and extend it to a1,2 and close the curve.

7. then finally at the center i.e a2,2 draw a small circle

As simple as that.

Step 3: Kolam With 4x4 Dots

this is an extension of the first one

Step 4: Another 3x3 Kolam

simple kolam with 3x3 dots

Step 5: Another 3x3 Kolam

This is another pattern that is made with a simple arrangement of 3x3 dots

Step 6: Another Simple Kolam

1. starts with one dot at the top

2. second row and the third has seven dots

3. place one dot exactly at the center of the fourth row

4. The rest is the curves as seen in the images

Step 7: Different One

1. the first row has one dot

2. the second has three dots followed by seven dots in the 3rd row

3. again 3 dots in the fourth row and one dot in the fifth

4. the design made with lines are as shown in the images

Step 8: Another Patter

1. This pattern involves dots placed in an increasing order i.e first row has one dot second row has two dots and so on till the fifth row and then from sixth row it reduces by one dot.

2. connect the dots at corners and the one exactly below as shown in the image

3. the rest of the design as shown in the image

Step 9: This Is a Little More Complicated

This is easy to understand from the images itself don't want to say the same lines again.

There are even bigger ones with hundreds of dots which is really complicated

I really want to know about the science and geometry behind these figures for now I really dont know.

About This Instructable




Bio: I love design, and anything related to it, Painting is my favorite hobby, oil, acrylic, poster, glass painting are some of my all time favorites ... More »
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