Rani created this beautiful rangoli mandala using color sand (or rice flour), marigolds and candles. Sadly I have little information about this particular design and the person who created it except that Rani creates one almost every day and posts them on her facebook page. This one was created in celebration of Friendship Day on August 1.
A rangoli signifies a creative expression of art by means of colors. Traditionally women in India create rangolis on the floor, entrances to homes, or on the ground.
From the D’Source web site article “Elements Used in Rangolis“:
The rangolis were not only adoration and ornamentation of the earth which sustains us, but equally a ritual invocation of the Gods for acquiring their blessings, thus making these floor designs a visual prayer created on the earth. Drawn with rice powder, lime or chalk, the process of creation is as important as the finished form. The designs drawn thus on the floor have a magical power and presence. They were used as welcoming signs at the entrance of the house, for a guest must be welcomed with grace and elegance. Beauty being equated with godliness, it was also the symbol of good omen and therefore is associated with every phase of life.
Here you can watch another beautiful rangoli being made by Poonan Borkar
The D’Source article continues with information about mandalas as well:
The word mandala comes from a Sanskrit word that means – circle and mandalas can be recognized by their concentric circles and other geometrical figures. Mandalas are far more than sacred geometrical figures; they are rich with symbolism and sacred meaning like the container of the universal essence. A mandala when created becomes a sacred area that serves as a receptacle for the Gods and Goddesses and a collection point of universal forces. It is believed that a person by mentally entering a mandala and proceeding to its centre is symbolically guided through the cosmos to the essence of reality.
While I’m used to coloring or painting mandalas using pencils, markers or paints, I’m inspired to try one of these using color sand.