Posted in March 2016, Uncategorized

This Holi will be special: make chemical free colours at home!

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Natural colours for Holi (Image from

Let Holi be a celebration of friendship, love, colors, happiness and triumph of good.  Get into the Holi spirit with the onset of New Year and you will have the unobtrusive, incurrence, eye pleasing natural colors. Delhi people are lucky that spring is before Holi. Collect flowers and dry them in shade.

RED: Semul, china roses, roses, Indian Coral tree flowers

ORANGE RED: Begonia, Naustrasium

YELLOW: Pansies, sunflowers, marigolds and peela kaner

GREEN: Henna or other leaves of various kinds for greens

All that is needed is a visit to a forest, a garden to collect leaves, seeds, bark of trees, flowers, fruits and peels etc. Put flowers of Semul/ Tesu or Palas/ Dhak  (trees which are common in India and bloom during March) in water and boil. Leave overnight to obtain reddish or saffron color.

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Begonia for orange red colour (Image from:


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Henna leaves for green colour (Image from

The steps to make your own wet and dry colors are:

  1. Dry the color source in shade.
  2. Powder the dried material coarsely.
  3. Soak the powder in water for 30 minutes.
  4. Boil this water for 45 minutes to an hour.
  5. Cool it, filter it and keep it till you want to use it.
  6. Dry the residue in shade. Powder it finely and if you wish mix it with one of the natural bases. This becomes the dry Holi color, ready to be used.

Kitchen products also come handy to make natural colors. Use dried and grounded Orange peels, Lemon Peels, pomegranate peels or Sandalwood. To make natural pastes use Rose water. Mix a spoon of powdered haldi in a cup of gram flour for dry yellow color great for skin too or mix Haldi powder in water to make a wet color or mix it with lime powder to get reddish color.

Chopped pieces of Beetroot soaked in water for a few hours give a wonderful magenta color.

Natural products and their Colors

  1. Saffron    –              Brilliant yellow
  2. Turmeric –              Yellow & Orange Brown
  3. Henna –                   Orange Red
  4. Manjistha –             Rust Red
  5. Katha –                      Brown
  6. Beet Root –              Magenta
  7. Indigo –                    Rich Blue
  8. Chlorophyll –         Green
Saffron for brilliant yellow colour (Image from
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Beetrot for Magenta  colour (Image from
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Indigo for blue colour (Image from

Vatavaran demands:

A cottage industry is setup, to generate useful/ harmless natural colors as well as generate employment. Replace the current toxin laden colors and become part of the contentious Indians and resurrect the real Holi.

The introduction of natural colors should be supplemented by a complete ban on the current colors in market, heavy in concentrations of Sudan Red, Metanil Yellow, Malachite Green and Salts of metals like lead, chromium, mercury, etc.


Dr. Iqbal Malik, Founder and Director




Vatavaran is a small organization that has decided that it simply must be hands on about the betterment of the world around us. We’re not sitting here for one issue or the other, but for fighting things that bother us in our everyday lives. Basically - we’re determined to make a difference. At the moment, we're working with Solid Waste Management, Water Conservation, our patented Recycling Scheme (WERMS), and e-waste recycling. Join us - we do hands-on work, we do simple and applicable work. We're not fancy, we're not big, we're not famous. We're just working. If you have an idea that you thing deserves to be applied in our daily lives to make a difference, come work with us. At Vatavaran, you lead your own project. It's autonomous work - your idea, your responsibility. We're just the vessel. Because we're cool like that.

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