Bathukamma is a beautiful and colourful festival of Telangana that is celebrated by women, with flowers that grow exclusively in each region. But what are those things which make this festival so unique? Bathukamma is a symbol of Telangana’s cultural identity.
This vibrant festival is celebrated during the latter half of monsoon, before the onset of winter. As per the historical belief, the monsoon rains usually bring plenty of water into the fresh water ponds of Telangana and different wild flowers bloom in various vivacious colours all across the unfarmed and barren plains of the region.
‘Gunuka poolu’ and ‘tangedu poolu’, banti, chemanti, nandi-vardhanam is few of the profuse flowers that are used on this festival. The festival begins a week before the grand finale of the Batukamma festival which falls two days before Dussehra.
As per the rituals, the women get back to their parent's home from their in-laws and celebrate the colors of flowers. For one complete week, they make small ‘Batukammas’, play around them every evening and immerse them in a nearby water pond.
The process of the festival is very unique on the first five days women clean their vakili (courtyard), then the cow dung mixed with water is spread in the courtyard it is said to have a base of the ground then the base is decorated with managala aakara or muggu patterns or rangoli which is made of flour.
For the first five days Batukamma is prepared with cow dung. Men in the house gather flowers Bathukamma Flowers from the wild plains like Celosia, Senna, Marigold, Chrysanthemum, Indian Lotus, Cucurbita leaves & flowers, Cucumis Sativus leaves & flowers, Memecylon edule, Tridax procumbens, Trachyspermum ammi, Katla, Teku Flowers, they bloom in this season in various colors and all across the region.
Preparing a Bathukamma is a folk art. Women start preparing Bathukamma from the afternoon. They cut the flowers leaving the little length base, in different vibrant colours, some scented and arrange them on a wide plate called Thambalam.
Bathukamma means ‘come back to life mother’ and this festival has main focous on devi sati asking her to return. People belive that devvi sati comes to life as Goddess Parvati and therefore the festival is also dedicated to Goddess Parvati. But there are many other stories behind this festival.
Some people says that Goddess Gauri killed 'Mahishasura' the demon after a fight. After this she went to sleep on the 'Aswayuja Padyami', due to fatigue. The devotees prayed to her to wake up, and she woke up on the Dasami.
The third story about this festival is that the other being Bathukamma, as the daughter of the 'Chola' King 'Dharmangada' and 'Satyavati'. The king and queen lost their 100 sons in the battlefield and prayed to Goddess Lakshmi to be born in their house, as their child. Goddess Lakshmi heard their sincere prayers and chose to oblige them. When Lakshmi was born in the royal palace, all the sages came to bless her and they blessed her with immortality "Bathukamma or Live Forever".
By: Lakshita Pant