What is Mandana Art?

by Annie Saxena on Mar 10, 2023

What is Mandana Art?

Indian states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are known for their Mandana wall and floor paintings. Mandana are attracted to defend the house and the hearth, to welcome the gods into the home, and to celebrate special occasions. Meena women of Rajasthan's Hadoti region are skilled at creating designs with exact symmetry and accuracy. The technique is practiced on walls and floors, and it is frequently handed down from mother to daughter. The artwork is much more noticeable and associated with the Meena community in the Hadoti region. Red ochre, rati, a regional clay, and cow dung are mixed together to prepare the ground. For the motif, lime or chalk powder is utilized.

A piece of cotton, a tuft of hair, or a crude brush formed from a date stalk are the tools used. Ganesha, peacocks, working ladies, tigers, floral patterns, etc. might all be included in the design. In the majority of Nepal, these artworks are also referred to as Mandalas.

What is Mandana Art?

Traditional folk art known as "mandana art" has its roots in Rajasthan, India. It is a type of floor painting that is typically done by women on important days and festivals like Diwali, Holi, and other lucky occasions.

Using rice paste or chalk powder, elaborate patterns and designs are created and applied to the home's floor or walls. The patterns frequently have symmetrical patterns and frequently feature geometric forms, flowers, birds, and other creatures.

It is thought that mandala painting first appeared as a means of warding off evil spirits and bringing luck and wealth into the home. It has become a common type of décor for festivals and other occasions over time.

In addition to being used to decorate walls, floors, and other surfaces in homes and public areas, Mandana art has recently gained popularity beyond of its traditional confines and been adapted into contemporary design and fashion.

Types of Mandana Art

There are various forms of Mandana art, each with an own aesthetic and set of qualities. Some of the more common varieties are listed below:

Bhopa-Bhopi Mandana: This kind of Mandana art is frequently seen in Rajasthan's Mewar region. It is distinguished by its elaborate patterns and vibrant colour scheme.

Chaumukha Mandana - The four-faced Lord Brahma, who is credited with creating the universe, is the inspiration for this particular kind of Mandana artwork. Each of the four quadrants, which correspond to one of Brahma's faces, is usually used to make it.

Dandia Mandana - During the Navratri celebration, this style of Mandana art is frequently produced. It is distinguished by the use of floral and geometric patterns as well as its vivid colours.

Shiva-Parvati Mandana – This kind of Mandana artwork was made to represent the celestial union of Lord Shiva and Parvati. The elaborate patterns and use of organic hues like red, yellow, and green are what define it.

Rangoli Mandana - Flower petals or colored powder are used to make this form of Mandana art. It is distinguished by symmetrical shapes and the use of vibrant colors, and is frequently made to welcome guests into the home.

The Kumaon region in Uttarakhand is known for producing Aipan Mandana, a particular style of Mandana artwork. Its characteristic geometric designs and use of the colors white and red are what set it apart from other types of pastries made typically using wheat or rice flour.

What is the History of Mandana Art?

The state of Rajasthan in northern India is where the traditional Mandana art style of wall and floor painting first appeared. The history of the art genre spans several centuries and is extensive.

The term "mandana" is derived from the Sanskrit word "manda," which means auspicious, and the art form is regarded as a sign of luck and wealth. As a method to beautify their houses and mark significant occasions, it is thought that women in rural Rajasthan were the ones who originally developed this art form.

The ancient Indian practice of floor and wall paintings, which were frequently utilized in religious and ceremonial occasions, is where the origins of Mandana art may be found. The Havelis (mansions) of Shekhawati, an area in Rajasthan renowned for its rich cultural legacy, house the earliest specimens of Mandana art.

As new motifs and patterns were included into the designs, Mandana art evolved and grew more intricate over the years. The art form was also practiced in other regions of India by other communities, each of which had its own distinctive aesthetic and traits.

Mandana art is still being by artists and craftspeople in Rajasthan and other regions of India today and is still a lively and alive art form. It is also becoming known as a distinctive and stunning type of traditional Indian art throughout the world.

What Materials are Used for Mandana Art?

Historically, natural materials that are freely accessible in rural locations have been used to make Mandana art. Depending on the area and the sort of Mandana art being created, different materials are employed. These are a few of the materials that are frequently used:

An element frequently utilized in Mandana art is rice paste. To make a paste that is simple to apply to the floor or walls, rice flour and water are combined to form the product.

Another typical medium utilized in Mandana art is chalk powder. For a brilliant, vivid color, it is frequently used with rice flour.

Geru powder is a form of natural clay that is used to produce a reddish-brown hue. It is frequently combined with rice flour to make a paste that can be easily applied on the floor or walls.

Turmeric is a natural color that is frequently used in Mandana art. It is frequently used with rice flour or chalk powder to produce a vivid yellow color.

Flower petals - Rangoli Mandana is one form of Mandana art that makes use of flower petals. To provide a vivid, bright display, they are frequently placed in complex patterns and designs.

Wheat flour is utilized in several forms of Mandana art, such as Apian Mandana. It is combined with water to produce a paste that can be easily applied to the floor or walls.

What Colors are Used in Mandana Art?

Historically, the natural pigments used in Mandana art have come from sources including rice flour, chalk powder, turmeric, geru powder, and flower petals. Depending on the style of Mandana art and the area where it was produced, different colors are utilized. A few of the typical hues utilized in Mandana art are listed below:

In Mandana art, white is the color that is most frequently utilized. The majority of patterns start with this color, which is made with rice flour or chalk powder.

Red: The Mandana people frequently employ the color red in their artwork. It is typically used to draw contours and borders and is made with geru powder or red clay.

Yellow: Yellow is a common color in Mandana artwork. Turmeric is used to make it, and floral and geometric patterns are frequently incorporated into it.

Turmeric and indigo are combined to produce the color green, which is frequently used to design leaves and vines.

Indigo is used to make blue, which is employed in various forms of Mandana art to produce elaborate patterns and designs.

Orange is a color that is produced by mixing turmeric with red clay and is frequently used to make floral and geometric patterns.

In current times, synthetic colors are also employed in Mandana painting to create a greater range of hues and tones. Natural colors are still used by traditional Mandana artisans because they are thought to be more sustainable and eco-friendly.

How is Mandana Art Made?

Traditionally, women in rural areas have created Mandana art using natural materials. This is a general description of the Mandana artistic process:

Surface preparation - The surface on which the Mandana art will be formed is first cleansed and ready. If it is a floor, it is normally swept and cleaned to get rid of any dust or grime.

Foundation layer - To provide a smooth, empty surface for the design, a base layer of white rice paste or chalk powder is added to the surface.

Design creation: The artist now starts by sketching the design's outline with a finger or a twig. The pattern frequently has a symmetrical quality and typically consists of geometric forms, flowers, birds, and other creatures.

Filling in the design - After the outline is finished, the artist fills in the design using various materials and colors. Depending on the kind of Mandana art and the area where it is made, different colors and materials are employed.

Finishing touches - After the design is finished, the artist adds any last-minute particulars or embellishments to improve the piece's overall appearance.

Drying: The Mandana artwork is left to finish drying, which may take several hours or perhaps an entire night.

Today, stencils, brushes, and other tools are also used to create Mandana art in order to speed up and improve the process. Yet, traditional painters continue to favour producing the artwork by hand with natural materials in order to preserve its authenticity and beauty.

Is Mandana Art A Rangoli?

The traditional Indian art forms of rangoli and mandala differ from one another. They differ from one another despite having certain commonalities.

The state of Rajasthan is known for its Mandana art, which is a type of wall and floor painting. Natural products like rice flour and chalk powder are typically used by women. Designs are frequently made for significant occasions like weddings and festivals, and they frequently have intricate patterns and motifs.

On the other side, rangoli is a type of decorative art that is made on the ground from of colorful grains, flowers, or powders. Mostly performed by ladies, it is a regular sight at festivals and other special events. The ornaments, which are intended to bring luck and prosperity, are frequently made utilizing geometric patterns and motifs.

Rangoli and Mandana art are both traditional Indian art forms that employ the same methods and supplies, but they are separate from one another and have their own special styles and traits.


The practice has been criticized for being out of date and has recently lost some of its visibility. Traditional Mandana drawings made with white chalk on a red backdrop have been preserved and conserved via conservation efforts like those of Koshalya Devi from Baran. Devi has used oil paints to create more than 100 Mandana-inspired drawings on hardboard, and she is working to introduce the tradition to other nations.

One of the earliest tribal art styles to have endured through the ages in India is the mandanna painting. It is performed by the Meenas, one of the oldest tribal groups, in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. To fend off evil and welcome the gods' gifts, this art is painted on the walls and floors of the home, both inside and outdoors. Since caring for the home and family has traditionally been seen as a woman's responsibility in the Meena society, women make up the majority of those who paint. This art form is not a discipline and is not taught in a formal setting. Yet, girls pick up this skill by seeing and copying their mothers.