Street Designs

During the Ganesha Festival time, one can find very competitive Kolam Festivals in the bylanes and streets of Bangalore. Kolams ( roughly translated as ‘designs’ ) are a symbol of auspiciousness. Hindus believe that the geometrical patterns & designs applied – mostly with a mixture of rice flour ( & nowadays, white crushed stone powder and/or glass ) – at the entrance to a home is an invitation to Goddess Lakshmi into one’s home and to drive away evil spirits.

Here are some pics of one such Kolam Festival held in a street off Narayana Pillai Street in the Cantonment Area of Bangalore.

BTW, this festival brings to mind the fantastic Kolam competitions that are held annually in the open spaces, street corners and the Mada Streets around the world famous Mylapore Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple in Chennai. I wish I had taken some pics of them during my short stay over there!

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12 Comments so far

  1. Lokesh (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2007 @ 10:03 pm

    Nice Ravi. The last one must have been really difficult but beautifully done. The first one is also nice done actually. Looks like you came very close to where I stay. And I had no clue this was happening near home. Umm…this is something. What happens on the next road near home I get to know not from a neighbour, not from the local newspaper but from this Blog. Great. Blogging completely breaks the entire local/global thing I suppose.


  2. Kumudha (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2007 @ 11:32 pm

    Wonderful rangoli pictures!

    Thanks for sharing.


  3. Chappar (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2007 @ 11:56 pm

    Rangoli not KOLLAM or some thing


  4. tempo (unregistered) on October 4th, 2007 @ 2:13 am

    Yup…its called “rangoli” in Karnataka, not kolan! When in Rome….


  5. Begaluru NOT Chennai (unregistered) on October 4th, 2007 @ 5:53 am

    Dude, this is Bengaluru not Chennai. Please change the work Kolam to Rangoli!! If you can’t even find out the Kannada word for a simple thing, can you really justify being on this forum???


  6. Ravi (unregistered) on October 4th, 2007 @ 12:13 pm

    @Lokesh: Thanks!

    @Kumudha: Thank you. In the part of Bangalore where those pics where taken, the Tamilian representation is greater. Hence, they are called ‘Kolam’ competition. Whether Kolam or Rangoli( a hindi word, by the way ) the concept behind it is to be appreciated more than anything else, you’d agree?


  7. Sharath (unregistered) on October 4th, 2007 @ 2:45 pm

    The flavours of India. Nice post, Ravi !


  8. Ravi (unregistered) on October 4th, 2007 @ 3:15 pm

    Thanks, Sharath. Yup, a small glimpse of the tapestry of colours & customs that make India what it is!


  9. Deepa Mohan (unregistered) on October 4th, 2007 @ 3:33 pm

    Lovely…thanks for showing us this!


  10. Ravi (unregistered) on October 4th, 2007 @ 3:47 pm

    Welcome, Deepa-avare! :)


  11. Bengaluru NOT Chennai (unregistered) on October 5th, 2007 @ 6:02 am

    That shows how little you know of the Kannada language. Rangoli is a common word in many languages, hindi and kannada included!!
    Pls get educated!!!


  12. Pisipati Sriram (unregistered) on October 7th, 2007 @ 10:53 am

    The rangoli (or kolam) patterns are great and well captured by the lensman. The six pictures show the artistry, theme selection and colour sense of those who have drawn them perhaps using local material. The artist/es have infused life into these patterns by their craftsmanship.

    The first picture with concentric circles and designs appeals to any aesthetic eye, the second one that of Lord Hanuman (I suppose) is equally interesting. The fourth pic with six small girls holding hands and moving in a circle mirrors festive occasions (sankranti time) in villages when girls dress up in new clothes and dance. Fifth and sixth pics – the last one with Lord Ganesha, flanked by two peacocks, are impressive. Ganesha’s wives Siddhi and Buddhi are missing.

    Sadly urban areas and the concrete jubgles in which people are living in numerous cities and towns are missing these wonderful close to nature arts and environ.

    Good effort by the artist/s and the photographer.



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