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How to Draw a Kolam for Diwali

Updated on October 30, 2018
SueM11 profile image

Sue is a mother and grandmother living in sunny Malaysia. Like many Malaysians, she is passionate about food.

Kolam Display at KL Pavilion

Elephant Kolam
Elephant Kolam

Drawing A Kolam For Diwali Festival

A kolam drawing on the front doorsteps of Hindu households is common during the festival of Diwali. Kolam is drawn using rice powder by female members of the family to welcome visitors and also Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity to their home.

Diwali or Deepavali, as it is more commonly known in Malaysia falls is often called the festival of lights. It is the most important festival celebrated by Hindus around the world. In Malaysia where Indians form an important segment of the population, kolam drawing is prominently displayed in many public places, hotels and malls during this season.

You may not know how to draw a kolam well so you can appreciate the skill needed to excel in this ancient Hindu art form.

How To Draw A Simple Kolam With 4 Dots

Instructions on how to draw using rice flour

A kolam is a geometrical drawing composed of curved loops drawn around a grid pattern of dots. It is sometimes called Rangoli and can be very elaborate and colorful. Kolams originated about 2500 BC in the Indus Valley Civilization and are believed to help bring wealth and prosperity to the home or business.

Finely ground rice flour is often used in kolam drawing as an offering to the Hindu goddess, Lakshmi who is the goddess of wealth and rice. Sandstone or limestone powder can also be used and various colored dyes are added to bring color to the design. The kolam drawings are made on a floor previously sprinkled with water. It is drawn with bare fingers following a pattern. Generally, kolam drawings consist of lines running around patterns of dots in a a geometric pattern.


Peacock Kolam


Natural Dyes For Color To Draw Kolam

Natural dyes from barks of trees, leaves were often used in days of old though some now use synthetic dyes. Colored powder from rice, brick, tumeric and chilly bring vibrant colors to a Rangoli design.

Cereals, pulses in their natural colors can also add a three dimensional effect to this ancient art.

Important Tip To Draw Kolam!

Mix rice flour with white stone powder for a better finish.

The powder is taken in a pinch and applied with the thumb and forefinger to sprinkle the powder on to the floor design.

Remember! PATIENCE is the key to draw a kolam.

Kolam Designs

Kolam patterns for your front door this Diwali festival

How To Draw Flower Kolam

Courtesy of
Courtesy of

1. Make the dots with chalk on the floor.

2. Use dots to guide you to draw the patterns.

3. Fill the lines with colored rice paste.

Peacock Kolam is very popular during Diwali


Kolam Patterns For Diwali - Find a kolam design for Diwali

Kolam Geometric Design

Kolam Drawing With Geometric Design - Vibrant colored kolam


Patience Is Important !

Focus and much concentration are needed to be a good Kolam artist.

Test your skill by completing the entire design without lifting the hand from the ground!

Kolam Designs To Welcome Diwali / Deepavali

As in every year there are competitions and displays by private corporations to show off the kolam drawing skills of participants.

Try Nithya's Kolam Design - A step by step guide

Multi Coloured Kolam


© 2010 Sue Mah


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