Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Monday, October 21, 2019

Bathukamma - The Floral Festival of Telangana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bathukamma is Telangana's floral festival celebrated by the Hindu women of Telangana. Every year this festival is celebrated as per Telugu version of Hindu calendar in the Bhadrapada Amavasya, also known as Mahalaya Amavasya, usually in September–October of Gregorian calendar.

 

 

Bathukamma is celebrated for nine days during Durga Navratri. It starts on the day of Mahalaya Amavasya and the 9-day festivities culminate on "Saddula Bathukamma" or "Pedda Bathukamma" festival on Ashwayuja Ashtami, popularly known as Durgashtami which is two days before Dussehra.  

 

 

Bathukamma is followed by Boddemma, which is a 7-day festival. Boddemma festival that marks the ending of Varsha Ruthu whereas Bathukamma festival indicates the beginning of Sarad or Sharath Ruthu.

 

 

The Bathukamma festival is an embodiment of the socio cultural ethos of the people of Telangana.

 

 

Bathukamma means ‘come back to life mother’ and it is an asking for Goddess Sati to return. Legend has it that Sati returned as Goddess Parvati and therefore the festival is also dedicated to Goddess Parvati.

 

 

There are many myths behind this festival. According to one myth Goddess Gauri killed 'Mahishasura' the demon after a fierce fight. After this act, 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 other myth being, Bathukamma was 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".

 

 

Bathukamma or 'Shakthi', according to one legend, is a lover of flowers. Flowers are arranged on a square wooden plank or a square bamboo frame with the size of frames tapering off to form a pinnacle on top. They resemble the shape of a temple 'Gopura'. Gauramma (a symbolic idol of Gowri made of turmeric) is placed on top of the flowers. This little floral mountain is worshipped as Goddess Bathukamma.

 

 

The flowers used for making Bathukamma are unique seasonal flowers, most of them with medicinal value. The men folk of the house go into the wild plains and gather local flowers called Gunuka, Tangedi, Lotus, Alli, Katla, Teku flowers which bloom in this season in various vibrant colours all across the uncultivated and barren lands. 

 

 

 

Essence of Bathukamma Festival

 

 

 

Bathukamma is a unique tribute to nature, which starts with colourful flowers and culminates in a water body. This festival  celebrates the inherent relationship between earth, water and the human beings. During the entire preceding week, women make ‘boddemma’ (a deity of Gowri – mother Durga – made with earthly mud) along with Bathukamma and immerse it in the pond. This helps reinforce the ponds and helps it retain more water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The flowers used in Bathukamma have a great quality of purifying water and such flowers when immersed in abundance into the pond have the effect of cleansing the water and making the environment much better. Flowers and leaves used for preparing idols of Bathukamma help in preventing water-borne diseases as they possess various medicinal properties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In times where the fresh water ponds are gradually diminishing and dwindling away it is indeed a pride of Telangana that its womenfolk (with mostly agrarian background) inherently know how to make them better by celebrating the beauty of nature.

 

 

The festival heralds the beauty of nature, its biodiversity, and its importance as a mother for our survival. It is a signs of reverence and harbinger for sustainability and resilience. It proclaims the indomitable spirit of womenfolk and also the ecological spirit of the agrarian people in preserving the natural resources in a festive way.

  

 

  

 

 

 

 

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