The Land of Festivals is what India is commonly known as. The endless queue of festivals in the life of an Indian unceasingly paints his life with hues of joy, success, faith, prosperity amidst life’s sorrows and failures and the person emerges, rejuvenated with an all new vigor to cross the hurdles of life again. Onam is the harvest festival of Kerala which falls in the Malayalam month of Chingam (Aug-Sep). It is a 10-day festival and in Kerala it is celebrated with the most number of cultural elements such as Vallam Kali, Pulikali, Pookalam, Onathappan, Thumbi Thullal, Onavillu, Kazhchakkula, Onapottan, Atthachamayam. etc. This festival is a reminiscence of Kerala’s agrarian past.
And malayalis love to celebrate onam with rangolis and flowers. You mix the two and you get Pookalam. Athapookalam or Pookalam means rangoli with flowers or say arrangement of colourful flowers in different patterns. Not just in Kerala, but the whole of India loves to decorate their house with beautiful rangoli designs
Festivals mean colors, new clothes, guests at home, gourmand savoring of festive delicacies, hullabaloo; in short lots and lots of enjoyment. The myriads of cultures in India have a plethora of festivals. Being basically an agricultural country, one festival that is common among all these cultures is the harvest festival i.e Onam among Malayalis. There is a mythological story behind the festival Onam. Onam is the day when the legendary Asura king Mahabali visits his subjects. You can read the full story on wikipedia.
Here’s a compilation of 25 most beautiful Athapookalams that I’ve come across so far and can be used for your next Onam:
This beautiful combination of colors of flower petals brighten up this pookalam. The choice of colors is very sober which is in no way dull or wan.
2. Flower petals
When we use flowers for rangolis, yellow and orange petaled flowers generally come in mind, but the usage of mauve petals in this pookalam design, sets it apart from all others. And lotus buds have also been used. The rangoli pattern is beautiful so is the color combination.
Such a beautiful artwork with flower petals! The artist has stuck to the traditional circular shape of pookalams, embossed into it artworks related to the worship of Mahabali and has also kept in mind to juxtapose contrasting colors and create an eye-appealing artwork.
The pattern in this usual pookalam design for onam festival is very symmetric and common. What is attractive about this pookalam is the color combination of the petals used. What brightens up the deal is the way the normally dull colors like white and off-white are used in this pookalam with dark colors. White and off-white colored petals if used alone would have made a dull artwork, but since here it has been used with other darker colors, it is complementing the dark colors.
Blend of orange,yellow, dark pink and green make up for a lovely visual effect.
Words fall short in describing this pookalam. I am marveling at the petal colors used, the dark colors especially. So much effort must have been put to get just the right colored petals, and then to use the petals to breathe life to the pookalam. The color blends from darkest shade to the lightest one is such a suave manner. And even grass is put to such good use in this! Even with flower petals the margins are maintained so well, and the peacock proves the nimbleness of the artist’s fingers.
In this pookalam, the scenery of Kerala is so well brought out as if it has been painted with water colors. The blending of colors in the fringe pattern makes it hard to believe that such an artwork can be achieved by just flower petals.
A modern twist is given to the traditionally circular pookalam where instead of making it circular, the pookalam is shaped like a flower and inside it is depicted the picture of a boat which symbolises Kerala. The boat seems to be carryimg flowers,all the more convenient to depict with flowers. Again the merging of the colors is worth noting.
This depiction of a Kathakli dancer’s make-up in this unique pookalam design is a refreshing change from the usual geometric pattern. The vibrant colors used, makes up for a treat for the eyes. Do try it during festive season. Its the best pookalam design ever!
The beautiful scenery of boats plying on the backwaters of Kerala sets this pookalam apart. The way the sunset is brought to life beautifully with the impeccable blending of flower petals is very commendable. The contrasting colors in the fringe design adds to the beauty of the pookalam.
Again the face of a Kathakali dancer brands this flower design as an indigenous product of the state of Kerala. The beauty of this rangoli is well suited for onam theme.
And here’s the man Himself- The great Mahabali! The picture of Mahabali is like a breath of fresh air among the floral patterned pookalam shapes. The shading brought alive by colourful flower petals looks as if it has been done with pastel colors. It is just that perfect!
The depiction of a woman with a veena in this round pookalam is unique. The shades of boundary colors used is also a bit different.
The various aspects symbolises Kerala are depicted in this floral rangoli, from farming to regatta to Kathakali. The hues of different colour flower petals used is very sober yet creates an impression in the minds of the beholder. And seamless blending of colors in the border design is impeccable.
The reason to ogle at this athapookalam is the blending of colors. The different colors block design is pretty much confined in their respective boundaries. Yet it seems to blend smoothly with each other, so intelligently the hues are juxtaposed!
A creative pookalam- defying yet adhering to the traditional ones. The drawings of symbols of the modern technologies inside will surely make you appreciate the creativity of the rangoli artist. Perfect if you are looking for a small pookalam design at a corner of your home.
This commonly shaped round rangoli is describing a regatta. The shades of the flower petals chosen is appreciable.
Colored petals confined in blocks again, yet seamlessly gliding into the other colors makes up for a treat for the eyes. Beautiful color combination of flower petals used. Everything about this beautiful pookalam spells a bright and festive affair. This is the perfect rangoli for onam festival.
The colors used in this flower rangoli and the way it is used is pulchritudinous! The otherwise clean design with light and dull off-white colored petals brighten up the dark colored petals used in this beautiful design. And the way the colors in the core flower merge with each other-WOW!
The shading done in this pookalam design with flower petals is so beautiful. I like the usage of mauve colored petals in the central design.
Bright colors have been used which seem brighter due to the white colored petals used. The juxtaposition of the light and dark colors is what sets this multicolored athapookalam design apart. Hats off to the rangoli maker. Its a complex design so try it if you are good at rangoli making or have practised it during school competitions.
This beautiful flower rangoli is sober going on the brighter side. The design on the boundary is intricate, and a lot of effort must have gone to put the boundaries. The art of rangoli making is easy if you just follow the details.
This picture depicts a huge and marvelous pookalam and also the amount of effort required to make such an artwork. No wonder the result of the abstract designs used is so atrractive. Another top athapookalam design for Onam.
The colors in this pookalam design blend so gracefully and they are so bright too. The artwork in central design is also excellent. We can get a taste of the magnificence with which Onam is celebrated in Kerala from this pookalam.
Again a block patterned pookalam, yet I never seem to get tired of seeing it. And each and every time that I see it, I marvel at how extraordinary this floral shape artwork is and how such extraordinary rangoli artists reside in every other schools and colleges of India.
This year’s Onam is gone, take hints from these beautiful designs with themes for your next year’s Onam pookalam and you’ll surely have a tough job in extracting people from unceasingly gaping at your work of art. Happy mesmerizing!
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