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Pookalam - Indian Floral Design

Updated on August 23, 2017
Pookalam - Flower Carpet
Pookalam - Flower Carpet | Source

What is Pookalam and where can I find it?

Pookalam is the nickname for the unique classic, floral patterns created in front of every house on the great festival in the South Indian state of Kerala.

According to the Malayalam schedule the festival takes place in the month of Chingam (August-September). The fate identified as Onam (Atham to Thiru Onam) which remembers the home coming of the divine King Mahabali.

Onam Festival is difficult to compare with any other celebrations since king Mahabali glorified by ordinary people of Kerala from the olden age. All along this festival days female characters indulge in cultural activities and make complexly elaborate flower mats called, "Pookalam" in the front entrance door of the house to curtsey the King Mahabali.

Pookalam - Floral Carpet
Pookalam - Floral Carpet | Source

Pookalam prepared without adding any artificial colors.

Traditional Pookalam pattern created in ten rings, which stand for the ten days advance of the festival.Today's Pookalam Designs have grown from this dogma in shape without ten rings, but all Pookalam flower designs are yet in orbital pattern.

These designs are an ethnic highlight of the Onam festival, remember the beauty of vibrant floral designs, and exposed in inventive, imaginative form. It is a remarkable work of art accomplished with an overcautious touch and a highly desirable sense of character and blend.

Pookalam - Floral Decoration of Kerala
Pookalam - Floral Decoration of Kerala

Kerala - Short Bio

Kerala (Keralam in Malayalam) is one of the Indian states, situated south of west coast.

It has framed by South Indian States Karnataka to the north, Tamil Nadu to the east and the Lakshadweep Sea towards the west. Kerala - The never-ending emblazonment of coconut palms, sun brightened beaches, house boats over attracting backwaters, breath of spices, gorgeous monsoon showers, silent valleys teeming with flora and fauna, thick forest and mountains of the Western Ghats, thousands of odd art forms, fairs and festivals etc. etc.

The weather is easygoing and changes little from season to season. The temperature modestly ranges from 80 to 90 F in the plains but go down to about 70 F in the highlands. The country holds its due share of both the southwest and the northeast monsoons, averaging proximately 120 inches annually.

Kerala-backwaters, greenery, ayurveda
Kerala-backwaters, greenery, ayurveda

Kerala is an acclaimed tourist destination and distinguished for its Back watersAyurvedic Treatments and tropical greenery. The climate is alleviated and adjusts little from season to season. It is also knew as "Gods Own Country". Malayalees have a high degree of attentiveness and political awareness. In the subject of education too, Keralites hold an exclusive position. The literacy rate for grown ups is one of the uppermost in all Asia, which is conceivably why the women in Kerala acclaim a regarded status both within the family and society. The state has a literacy rate of 94.59 percent, the best in India.

Capital: Thiruvananthapuram

Language: Malayalam, English

Largest Metro: Kochi

Population: 31,841,374 (as on 2001)

Pookalam - Floral Decoration of Kerala

Onam Celebrations-Pookalam
Onam Celebrations-Pookalam | Source
Pookalam Designs
Pookalam Designs

About Onam Festival - Kerala's Important and Largest Festival

Happy Onam Greetings
Happy Onam Greetings | Source

Onam Festival is commemorated in the Indian State of Kerala only to indicate the end of summer monsoon. This carnival also has a mythological foundation.

It is assumed that long ago this world was governed by a king called King Mahabali who progressed the world excelling than heaven. That was against the practice since the world was not assumed to be enjoyable than heaven.

The God of heaven Indra was much irritated about this. So to maintain these circumstances straight Lord Vishnu arrived down to the world as a dwarf (Vamana) also pleaded King Mahabali for ground which would wrap his three small foot steps.

Without any ideation, King said yes. Then Vamana abruptly expanded to unbelievable dimensions and walked over both heaven as well as earth by two monstrous steps.

It is assumed that, at that time, King Mahabali bring low his head in front of Vamana to place his third step. Vamana then crush against King Mahabali down to underneath the earth (Pathalam).

However, before the King was pushed downward to the earth, he was bestowed sanction by Vamana to call on his subjects once in a year. The Onam festival is a commemoration of welcoming Mahabali to his Kingdom.

During this festival, people are preparing appealing Pookalams in all houses of Kerala to embrace their dearest King. Boat races are organized throughout Kerala, as well as a twenty one course meal is the prominent portion of the Onam festival.

Remarkable Features of Onam festival

Onam Celebrations
Onam Celebrations | Source

The amusement begins in the month of Chingam within a fortnight of the Malayalam New Year, depending on the locating of the stars and the moon, and go on for ten days. Thiru Onam is the last day of this celebration and is very important.

All along Kerala, ceremonies along with new garments, customary cuisine, music, and dance mark this celebrated festival. Complexly decorated Pookalam, conventional Onasadya, spectacular Snake Boat Race and attractive Kaikottikali dance are some of the most exceptional features of Onam festival in Kerala.

Apart from Pookalam, astonishing parades of dandified elephants, fireworks and the courtly Kathakali dance are constantly connected with Onam festival.

Decorated Elephant Procession
Decorated Elephant Procession | Source

Onam Festivity

At Trichur, the cultural headquarters of Kerala, marks the festival in its own delightful style. A procession of ornamented elephants is carried out on the streets. It's a dazzling site to watch the bejeweled elephants walking on the streets in their full majesty and sumptuousness.

Particularly kids take great enchantment in watching the show of their favorite animal. Songs, dance and fun making are a part of this occasion. Entire Kerala emerges in its ostentatious best on this day. Cultural burlesque, music and feasts add colors of cheerfulness and joy to the God's Own Country.

Rich cultural legacy of Kerala comes out in its best form during the ten day long festival. It is indeed a treat to be a part of the magnificent celebration. People of Kerala make rich preparations to rejoice it in the best possible manner.

Pookalam Collection - Vid.

Onam Pookalam

Onam Pookalam
Onam Pookalam | Source

Ten Days Celeberations

Onam is celebrated by people of all religions

Onam is commemorated with amusement and joy on all the ten days of the festivities. There are set ceremonies for each day and the traditional Keralites devotedly follow them.

The vibes of the people are upbeat all through the celebration and the high spirited Keralites are ever assenting to accommodate in merriment. It is identified as the days of Onam are the most considerable of all, for the countryman of Kerala.

Malayalis assume that it is on the tenth day, that Lord Mahabali comes to visit his people.

♣ Day One: Atham

♣ Day six: Thriketa

♣ Day Two: Chithira

♣ Day Seven: Moolam

♣ Day Three: Chodhi

♣ Day Eight: Pooradam

♣ Day Four: Visakam

♣ Day Nine: Uthradam

♣ Day Five: Anizham

♣ Daty Ten: Thiruvonam

Panchavadyam at Temple
Panchavadyam at Temple | Source

Thiruvonam Celebrations

Amusements commence around four am. People take early bath, wear new attires and conduct bright-hued prayers to claim heavenly blessings. A great and most creative Pookalam is arranged on this day to accost the spirit of King Mahabali.

The delicate pookkalam is a carpet made out of the assorted blossoms with two or more varieties of foliage of different tints pinched up into little pieces to serve up the decorator's concept.

It is measured a work of art skilled with a fine touch and a very creative sense of tone and assembling. (In a related manner North Indians generate something called "Rangoli" which is made of color powders of a range of colors.)

Onam Pulikalai
Onam Pulikalai | Source

Thiruvonam Programmes

Thiruvonam is also the time for home-coming, community feasting and a host of enlightening programmes. There is a proverb in Malayalam that "Kanam Vittu Onam Unnanam" which means, "We should have the Thiruonam meal even if we have to sell all our assets".

Keralites give that much significance to the Onasadhya on the Thiruonam day. Sporting meets are prearranged for men and women of all ages on this day and the big fascination in the cities are the boat races, which draws huge crowds of tourists. Lightening and dazzling fire works display also takes place with much fun fair.

Onam Pookalam Competition
Onam Pookalam Competition | Source

Onam Pookalam Competition

The biggest and the most acclaiming day in the festival of Onam is Thiruvonam. Thiru or Tiru stands for holy, scriptural, holy or blessed and is counterpart of 'Sri' in Hindi. complicated arrangements are made to acclaim Thiru Onam in the grandest potential way.

On the day of Onam different organizations and business groups all over Kerala arrange Pookalam Competitions (The floral decoration competition, Creating abstract patterns with petals). awesome prizes are also given in these competitions as they have turned up to be drastically very distinguished events.

Pookalam Designs - Vid


Onapookalam | Source
How to Make Pookalam
How to Make Pookalam

How To Make Pookalam

This floral design can be constructed in any event, to add color and embellish to your residence.

Many categories of flowers make Pookalam like Yellow Marigold, Orange Marigold, Gromphera, leaves of Gulmohar tree, Purple Aster, White Chrysanthamum, Lucas Aspera, Shoe flower, Lantana and Ixora etc. beginning develop an image with color in a paper and then get the flowers accordingly.

Either the entire flowers or only the petals form the Pookalam. Colorful Flowers, contemplation, dedication, team work and tranquillity are the essentials for composing striking Pookalm.

It's an impressive creative engagement, as designers have to think of a new model every day. It is animating to control women as they do Pookalam while singing traditional songs.

Giggling and sharing jokes between the thought provoking and time tiring job.


♣. Separate the petals of all the flowers except for Gromphera and keep in separate trays or plastic covers.

♣. Using a chalk draw the outline of the design and start arranging the petals starting from the center.

♣. The width can be either reduced or increased on the availability of flowers.

♣ Powder colors or artificial flowers are prohibited to use.

Making of Pookalam is a colorful and happy event. In recent times, people first organize complicated designs on computer and then apply it on floor. This saves a lot of time and energy and helps the makers to come up with eye-catching Pookalams.

Pookalam Floral Design
Pookalam Floral Design | Source

Want More Design? A simple search on Flickr will show you more Photos of wonderful Pookalam designs:

Search for More Pookalam Designs

What Is Your Opinion About Pookalam?

Do You Know Any Other Floral Decoration Like Pookalam?

Pookalam Designs - Photo Gallery

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Currently, Pookalam designs are formed on the computer and decided to be laid out at home or at competitions that are held during this onam season. The diameter of a Pookalam may be range from 4 to 5 meters.

Flowers for Pookalam

Pookalam Flowers for Sale
Pookalam Flowers for Sale

In olden days, people used to collect flowers from gardens for designing Pookalam. Kids used to get up early morning and pick flowers in their little flower basket from the village gardens.

At present, the trend has changed. People have the option of buying flowers of their choice from the market in a particular shape and color.

In pookalam making, Lucas Aspera (Thumba poovu) is regarded as more relevant flower. Because they are small in size and give a gleam in the warm rays of the morning sun. It is also bearing in mind as the well desired flower of King Mahabali as well as God Shiva.

Largest Pookalam - Vid - World's largest pookalam at Kannur

It Is Polling Time

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What You Think About Pookalam?

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    • RaintreeAnnie profile image


      5 years ago from UK

      I loved reading this , really fascinating. Pookalam is so stunningly beautiful. It must be amazing to see it all in real life but I am happy I got to learn about it and see it here. Sharing. Thank you.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      5 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Interesting lens. Amazing how much care and time must go into forming these so beautifully! I'm so glad you shared it with us.

    • norma-holt profile image


      5 years ago

      The circles and star in these designs are most likely taken from the sun-star that appears through an aperture when sun-light disperses. It was associated with the dawn and the return of the sun at Easter which is from 'eye-star'. They are very pretty and certainly reflective of the beautiful rainbow coloured rings so formed when that occurs. Well done and nicely presented.

    • srsddn lm profile image

      srsddn lm 

      5 years ago

      Beautifully designed Pookalams! Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      These Pookalam are amazing

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 

      6 years ago from Europe

      What delightful displays, they must take a lot of work and careful planning.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens with such beautiful pictures.I went to Kerala for a few days about two years ago and fell instantly in love with it. Your lens brought back the fond memories of the state with your excellent write-up about it

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Amazing designs and colours.

    • Socialpro54 LM profile image

      Socialpro54 LM 

      6 years ago

      beautiful pictures

    • geosum profile image


      6 years ago

      Great pictures. Thanks for sharing them. I probably won't be traveling there, so this will have to do.

    • Rosetta Slone profile image

      Rosetta Slone 

      6 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      What a feast for the eyes. Gorgeous pictures!

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 

      6 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Beautiful lens. So very interesting to read about pookalam. I love the designs.

    • takkhisa profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow! Lovely floral design. Kerala's culture is rich! Blessed by a Squid Angel!

    • Mamabyrd profile image


      6 years ago from West Texas

      I love all the beautiful bright colors. Thank you for sharing with us. I have never been to India but I would love to travel there someday!

    • mrsclaus411 profile image


      6 years ago

      This is so beautiful and intricate.

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      This is so beautiful!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Excellent and creative lens. Congrats for your puple star.

    • EMangl profile image


      6 years ago

      lot of great information - it's fantastic ornaments

    • VspaBotanicals profile image


      7 years ago

      Absolutely lovely and very artistic lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I think you are moving "travel to India" up on my Bucket List, Basha! ;-) If I do, I will definitely try to time it with one of these lovely festivals.

    • Rishi7 profile image


      7 years ago

      awesome lens...btw how did u put up tht clock?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow Great, these are Very Impressive to all......................

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Shared via Pinterest. noticed today that you have a Google+ profile. I have added you to my G+ circles.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What a wonderful journey this has been. Thank you!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I truly appreciate your lens. Great Indian Floral Design!

    • Gr8fulGirl profile image


      7 years ago

      Wonderful lens! Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful culture with us :o) Blessings from Maui, Wendy

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens, nicely done!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This festival sounds quite interesting, the floral designs are so exquisite. Great lense!

    • Teapixie LM profile image

      Tea Pixie 

      7 years ago

      The art is spectacular! Your lens is so informative and provides such a magical window into a world I never knew.

    • whiteskyline lm profile image

      whiteskyline lm 

      7 years ago

      Amazing. I love the many means of worship practiced over in the east.

    • aefhamilton lm profile image

      aefhamilton lm 

      7 years ago

      This is really cool. I never knew it existed! So beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      coolmon2009 lm 

      7 years ago

      Interesting lens on Pookalam. Thanks for the introduction.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love reading about new things. The pictures were great and your descriptions very informative

    • Rosaquid profile image


      7 years ago

      The world is full of beautiful surprises. Thanks for sharing this fascinating lens.

    • sheilamarie78 profile image


      7 years ago from British Columbia

      Such an amazing art form! Thanks for sharing them.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Very beautiful floral formations! They would also be awesome for wedding decorations with such bright colors!

    • cinefile profile image


      7 years ago


    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 

      7 years ago from Washington KS

      Beautiful, colorful pictures and fascinating information.Well done!!

    • wedpittsburgh lm profile image

      wedpittsburgh lm 

      7 years ago

      These are beautiful!!!

    • Wedding Mom profile image

      Wedding Mom 

      7 years ago

      Excellent! This is lovely.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      So much beauty and uniqueness.

    • Mariajomith profile image


      7 years ago

      Beautiful, I would love to see this in person

    • randomthings lm profile image

      randomthings lm 

      7 years ago

      WOW. That is amazing. Thank you for sharing this beautiful art.

    • bushaex profile image

      Stephen Bush 

      7 years ago from Ohio

      I was astounded by this lens! SquidAngel blessings. By the way, you were one of the earliest SquidAngels to bestow blessings on my lenses, and I want to thank you again for the encouragement.

    • LittleLindaPinda profile image

      Little Linda Pinda 

      7 years ago from Florida

      From the beautiful and colorful flowers, I can see where the inspiration for the rugs come from.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow, these are Very Impressive!!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is a great lens. Pookalam is very beautiful.

    • profile image

      Deadicated LM 

      7 years ago

      Cool Lens, you're always teaching me something new. Love it!!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Awesome lens, great job!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Gorgeous pictures!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Fantastic job! Squidlike

    • Diva2Mom profile image


      7 years ago

      Loved this lens so much, the highly maintained floral designs seemed fitting for my High Maintenance Lens, I hope you don't mind me directing my visitors here to see the amazing arrangements! :)

    • beaworkathomemom profile image


      7 years ago

      This is an amazing lens. They're really beautiful.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Gorgeous! And another great lens! Even the security word says it: uberwow.

    • FallenAngel 483 profile image

      FallenAngel 483 

      7 years ago

      Wow this is amazing I love flowers!

    • mariaamoroso profile image


      7 years ago from Sweden

      So wonderful art! I wish I could be there and try.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Beautiful lens, well done! Squidlike

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      7 years ago

      Your work is such high quality! I hope you publish tour books as well, I would certainly buy one. Especially since you have convinced me to visit Kerala as soon as possible. What an amazing culture. Pinned to my board "Favorite Places and Spaces" as board cover, and squid angel blessed.

    • sukkran trichy profile imageAUTHOR

      sukkran trichy 

      7 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      @WriterJanis2: really appreciate your visit and comment

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      7 years ago

      Yet another beautiful lens of yours.

    • Camden1 profile image


      7 years ago

      I also learn so much from your lenses! I've never heard of Pookalam - what a beautiful art form!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I always enjoy reading your lenses because they are all such quality and beautiful.

    • CruiseReady profile image


      7 years ago from East Central Florida


    • ottoblotto profile image


      7 years ago

      Breathtakingly beautiful!

    • Entrance Mats profile image

      Entrance Mats 

      7 years ago

      I'm with @mihgasper, very impressive!

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 

      7 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      I am impressed. Thumbs up!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Very interesting and beautiful artwork

    • mermaidlife profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you, I've seen something similar but not really because these are beautiful!

    • staciewalker lm profile image

      staciewalker lm 

      8 years ago

      I am fascinated with the Indian culture. Very beautiful designs. Thank you for sharing.Stacie

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      glad to browse upon your lens tonight, earned a 'thumbs up' from me.

    • jays23 lm profile image

      jays23 lm 

      8 years ago

      Great lens! It just shows the beauty and the richness of the indian culture! Really beautiful!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Very beautiful, thank you for this lens.

    • heehaw lm profile image

      heehaw lm 

      8 years ago

      great lens, nice youtube videos too.

    • juditpaton profile image

      Iudit Gherghiteanu 

      8 years ago from Ozun

      I think these beautiful designs should be used for many purposes, i intend to knit something , thank you so much to share even the soft to create new ones.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      these are just gorgeous

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      gorgeous designs.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      gorgeous designs.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      it was a great Eye treat.

    • sorana lm profile image

      sorana lm 

      8 years ago

      I had to come back and bless this lens. It's awesome.

    • LouisaDembul profile image


      8 years ago

      These Pookalam are so beautiful! What a work of art.

    • lesliesinclair profile image


      8 years ago

      What charming arrangements! This is surprising, in that I've been ignorant of India's cultural life, and I appreciate your contribution.

    • hlkljgk profile image


      8 years ago from Western Mass

      what a gorgeous lens and art!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Simply awesome! What a beautiful lens! :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      congrats a ton and great job done!!!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love all these floral designs, I am interested in anything Indian.

    • thailandecotour profile image


      8 years ago

      wow wonderful colors..thx for the lense

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Absolutely gorgeous designs, reminds me of Rangoli. As a kid I used to make huge Rangolis in Deepavali.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      What a treat! I think I was Indian in a former life. I love all things Indian. :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      India is a land of cultures and traditions. Floral Designs are just awesome.

    • aidenw profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      Beautiful lens, impressive designs. Thank you for recently stopping by and blessing my lens.

    • sheilamarie78 profile image


      8 years ago from British Columbia

      I'll bet the actual construction of the pookalam is a bonding experience for the women working on it. Seems like a wonderful tradition!

    • journey103 profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      These are amazing and so beautiful!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great and colorful lens! really open your eyes to another culture.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Beautiful arts. I always see this arts during Deepavali festival in Malaysia.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow, looks like a ton of effort goes into Pookalam design.

    • Brandi Bush profile image


      8 years ago from Maryland

      Pookalam is a real art form...thank you for introducing me to it! This is a beautiful lens, very deserving of a purple star! :)

    • mimosachatterjee profile image


      8 years ago

      very nice. i will defiantly try making it.

    • dahlia369 profile image


      8 years ago

      This is soooo beautiful!! Blessed, of course... :)

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      8 years ago from Ljubljana


    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Beautiful photos and colors..!


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