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India: Country of Colors

Writing about color in India is not particularly original.  All the guide books, blogs and India related materials refer to the richness of hues and the vivid saturated color on this vast continent along with the  wild mix of cultures and peoples.  I expected to see the reds and oranges, and yellows and teals and purples and yellow greens…..

 But, to tell the truth……..the color absolutely took my breath away pretty much constantly.   I was mesmerized with the  women wrapped in their silky sari’s.  The flowers.  The rangoli’s.  The bright turbans telling so much about the man.

Color is such an integral part of life that large Hindu populations celebrate Holi, the Festival of Colors.  It is a festival welcoming spring and the triumph of good over evil. There is even a TV channel called Colors.


I saw use of vibrant color everywhere.  On buses.  Ferris Wheel at the Pushkar Camel Festival.  Store fronts.  Decorated trucks and tractors. At fancy hotels one is greeted with either a floral necklace or in one, rose pedals dropped on us from a balcony above.   Festoons on camels and painted designs on elephants. A large train station painted in fanciful shades of pink.  The fabric sun shade at a tourist rest stop.  A tent housing horses at the Pushkar Camel Festival.  Hope you enjoy  some images that caught my eye when I was in India in November.





Once I got home I decided I wanted to learn a little more about color in India so I posed the this question on the internet : Why is India so colorful? What is it about this part of the world that revers color so much?    Not so sure I got a clear answer but here’s some interesting stuff I learned. If you have a deeper understanding of the role that color plays in India, please share your thoughts.


  • Red and green are common for clothing
  • Yellow and red are traditional for weddings
  • Green is sacred for Muslin and Parsi religions while orange or saffron is meaningful to Hindi
  • Black Saris are poorly regarded at happy occasions like weddings and only the most holy get to wear orange.
  • Widows wear white
  • Color is synonymous with religion and expression of faith and beliefs.
Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.


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