In West Bengal, the art is better known as Alpana and is carried out by the women during Pujas. The uniqueness of this style lies in its interesting designs created by a thick rice batter. Beautiful motifs like sun, owl, circular designs, betel leaf and fish are depicted with the use of a cloth soaked in the wet rice paste. The Alpana work art is supposed to be initiated by the community involved in farming and was done to ward off evil spirits. The designs and patterns are greatly influenced by the Shantiniketan style of art.
In Andhra Pradesh, the art is known as Muggu. Designs are drawn on floors especially at the entrances with rice powder. This is practiced during the auspicious month of Telugu Dhanurmaasam and also during the Sankranti. Houses are kept clean as the people strongly believe that gods only enter the houses that are kept clean and Muggu at the front entrance is a welcoming gesture for the gods. Apart from the white colour of the rice paste, red kumkum and yellow turmeric powder are also used. White colour stands for peace and purity, red denotes love and devotion and yellow reflects prosperity. Motifs like chariot, coiled serpent, sun, crescent shaped moon and kalash with mango leaves are beautifully illustrated.
Aipan is the name given to this art in the Uttaranchal region. This ancient artistry is carried out by the women folk and is done with dry rice powder or coloured soil. Attractive ornamental and geometrical designs are depicted by sprinkling the powdered soil. This sacred art is done on occasions like thread ceremony, marriages, festivals and marriages.
Rangoli in Tamil Nadu is also called Kolam. Drawing Kolam is a daily activity here as the floors are cleaned early in the morning and beautifully patterned designs are drawn by the women. According to the old belief, Kolam denotes sheer prosperity and floors are decorated with interesting designs with coarsely ground rice powder. It is also believed that every line of the design should be complete with no open spaces as this would prevent the evil spirits from entering.
Pookalam in Kerala is a Rangoli made out of a wide assortment of flowers arranged to create interesting patterns. This activity is carried out during the Onam festival where young girls create beautiful flower patterns. This is done in honour of King Mahabali and is carried out for ten days consecutively. A basic pattern is created on the first day and a little addition is done every day which at the end of the tenth day gradually evolves into a magnificent floral arrangement.
Rangoli is practiced in all the states of India. This ritual of making interesting designs is called Chowkpurana in Uttar Pradesh, Aripana in Bihar, and Madana in Rajasthan.
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