Pongal Kolam Designs
There are several types of Pongal Kolam designs. There are line kolams, where there is the free hand drawing of lines to make a geometrical pattern. Pulli (dots) are arranged in a specific sequence and order & these pullis are joined to make pictorial designs. In the pulli kolam type, there is an another type of forming twisted chains by linking one loop with the next & forming wonderful designs with the basic pattern. This is called Chuzhi kolam.
The kolam is drawn with a variety of materials such as rice powder, rice paste, marble powder, colored powders, leaves and flowers. The kolam basically consists of dots and lines that together form a meaningful design. Usually, a grid of dots numbering from 4 to 108 is used for drawing the kolam. The points are joined with straight and curved lines or else, the lines go round the points resulting in a design consisting exclusively of curved lines.
Plates, Boxes are available with the designs etched with holes provided. When this is filled with kolam powder & tapped on the ground, you have a lovely kolam. Rollers are also available. With these you can just roll it & draw the basic lines, & use your imagination to execute a kolam of your choice.
The Sankranti Rath (chariot) is a typical Pongal kolam. The ropes of the rath are supposed to be kept open till on the next day they are joined from house to house to symbolize a collective desire to realize an uninterrupted cosmic cycle. There are quite a few innovative designs such as an elephant, one with a carpet design, Pongal designs with sugarcane and overflowing pots and complex geometric patterns with messages of 'Happy Pongal', 'Welcome' and 'Thank You'.