Kolams / rangolis are auspicious patterns created using rice flour or white sandstone powder. Rangolis (rang - colour) are further decorated using colour powders, flowers and materials. It is an art as well as a traditional symbol. This is not an art of the experts or professionals. Most women in India exhibit their talent in this field, when they apply a kolam at their front entrance & pooja room.

Kolam designs have been tradionally handed down to the younger generation by the elders. Today, several organisations and magazines conduct kolam exhibitions & contests to revive the interest in traditional habits & customs. There are enthusiasts who create fresh new designs, but kolams are basically redrawn by the public following the designs taught by elders or from the patters published by the media.

Kolams - traditionally applied on the floor with powder & designs on paper

India being a land of diverse cultures & religions, countless festivals are celebrated throughout the year. People of the same religion follow different customs, based on the region in which they live.

The celebrations include prayers to the Gods, rituals, meeting with friends, sharing of sweets & gifts.

It is a Hindu belief that vrtams followed with sincerity, as stipulated, will condition and discipline the body as well as the mind. Another aspect of the Hindu religious festivals are the utsavams, which involve a gathering, pomp and joyous activities.

There are festivals to the various Hindu Gods, Lords of the seasons. Most Indian festivals follow the lunar calendar and not the solar calendar.


Queries, common doubts on Indian customs & their explanation
Mark on the forehead, application of mehendi

Traditional beauty treatments have been handed down by word of mouth and practice down the generations in India. Quite a few of the methods and prctices followed by our elders had a very scientific and rational base with a major usage of items that we use everyday in the kitchen, (like milk, turmeric, curd, gram flours, etc..), leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds & the bark and roots from plants (like hibiscus leaves & flowers, henna leaves, baadaam, etc.) All of these items were widely used to beautify but also to maintain and condition the body. Each of the beauty aids has the required moderating effect. Today, the use of natural items in food, beauty treatment, medicine is gathering momentum with a lot of herbal products in the market.

In this section, we are also planning to provide info on the traditional practices used by Indians to decorate their homes, most of which have become part of everyday life.

Quite a few of the traditional methods and practices handed down to us had a very scientific and rational base
- with items that are in everyday use
- easy home preparations
Besan Castor Oil
Green gram Flour Coconut Oil
Shikakai Kajal
Chandanam Kumkumam
Sambraani Turmeric

Related Links

Sri Sumukhi Rajasekharan Memorial Foundation - "Mylapore Trio"
The Foundation contributes towards enriching Indian art and culture in Mylapore (Chennai) through children, youth & elders by inculcating in them Value based Culture, Tradition & Heritage programmes.