Introduction: Pookalam (Flower Rangoli)

About: Favorite "Much may be done in those little shreds and patches of time which every day produces, and which most men throw away." Charles Caleb Colton

Rangoli is an art form from India in which patterns (similar to mandala designs) are created on the floor in living rooms or courtyards. The materials like coloured sand, coloured rice, dry flour or flower petals are used to make Rangoli.

The purpose of rangoli is decoration, and it is thought to bring good luck. Based on the area , traditions and folklore the designs may also vary. Generally, this practice is showcased during occasions such as festivals, auspicious observances, marriage celebrations and other similar milestones and gatherings.Traditionally it is done by women. Rangoli done with flowers is called pookalam.

Step 1: Materials Needed

Many type of flowers can be used to make pookalam. You can buy flowers or use the flowers available in your home. Either the whole flower or only the petals can be used to make pookalam.

Instead of buying I collected flowers from my neighborhood.


  • Violet / Blue - Persian onion (Allium hollandicum) flower
  • Green - Redwood / Bald cypress / Japanese Boxwood Leaves
  • Yellow - Rose / Dandelion flower
  • Orange - California Poppy flower
  • Red - Rose / Geranium flower
  • Dark Pink - Geranium flower
  • Light Pink - Rose

Other materials

Trace paper, Scale and Pens

You can also use zinnia, mums, hydrangea, marigold, aster and chrysanthemum flowers.

Step 2: Preparation of Petals and Drawing Outline

  • Separate the petals of all flowers and leaves.
  • Keep it in plastic covers or cups.

Designs - Either use a chalk to draw the outline directly on the floor or draw the designs on trace paper. You can use pattern similar to mandala designs. You can choose whatever design you like based on the availability of flowers.I have drawn it in the trace paper.

Step 3: Arrange the Petals

  • Start arranging petals starting from the center.
  • The width can be either reduced or increased based on the availability of the petals.
  • 5 circle layers are formed.

Step 4: Middle Layer

Since i had red ,light & dark pink petals, i used it in the middle layer.

Step 5: Outer Layer

I have added 3 more layers and finished it with green leaves.

Step 6: Pookalam

Usually Brass or Silver Indian lamps are used along with the pookalam. I have added an old picture with Indian silver lamp. You can also add candles to the pookalam.

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