Dharampuri (Tamil Nadu), Feb.1 : Kolam or the art of Rangoli, presented in varied colours and traditional designs, is a heritage of Tamil Nadu. It's been in vogue, especially in the south India, since time immemorial. Kolam attains prominence during Pongal season when girls of marriageable age meticulously prepare different Kolams in the foreyard of their houses.
The month of Margali and Thai Poosam festival falling between December 15 and January 15 are eagerly awaited by eves. The occasion is opportunity for the girls to showcase their artistic tastes by covering the entire width of the road with one big Kolam.
It is sort of s test of one's mastery for one's artistic skills, as different design is required for each day without a repeat.
Margali is considered auspicious month. During this time, the household women and girls wake up before dawn and pray to God Thirumal (incarnation of Lord Vishnu). They prepare Rangolis in His welcome and also sing Thiruppaval or the hymns in the praise of Lord Thirumal in the morning. The practice is followed for the rest of this month.
"We prepare various Kolams for Thai Poosam that is dedicated to Andal (Goddess). I have tried seven colours like red, yellow, white and green. This gives us immense thrill and satisfaction. It is not only aesthetic but auspicious too since Kolam welcomes the divine God. Though much time and creativity are involved in making them, but collectively, all of us are happy since a marriageable girl finds her match," said Senthamarai, a local of T.Agraharam, Dharmapuri.
Kolams are generally drawn on a damp surface so that it stays for a longer time.
Traditionally, the cow-dung is also used as the base because it has antiseptic properties and is believed to provide a literal threshold of protection for the home.
"I am from Agraharam Village. It involves fun, devotion and plenty of patience in working out the Kolams. For Theyam, I have prepared this Kolam and wish my ambitions are fulfilled," said Mala, a resident of T Agraharam, Dharmapuri.
It is believed Kolam making is beneficial for health for the artist who bends down each morning since it is said to help her digestive system, reproductive organs and to help overall stretching of the body. By Jayakumar