Bathukamma-Telangana Floral Festival Story And Its Significance
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“Kurisina Poola Panduga, Virabusina Nela Panduga, Priyamaina Neeti Panduga, Telangana ke Talamaanikam, Mana Bathukamma”
Meaning: Splendrous Heavenly Flowers, Bloom Vibrantly, In our Soil, In Our Soul, As Bathukamma Festival
Bathukamma-Telangana Floral Festival Story:
Bathukamma-Telangana Floral Festival is a major festival of the Telangana state in India. It is celebrated in the month of Bhadrapada Amavasya, also known as Mahalaya Amavasya according to the Hindu calendar. Bathukamma is a very important festival of Telengana. Bathukamma comes during the latter half of monsoon, before the onset of winter.
Goddess Gauri is worshipped by the women during the festival, who is known by the name baatukamma in the region. The word Bathukamma in the local Telegu language literally means “come alive Mother Goddess”. The festival is celebrated for a period of 10 days and usually commences two days before Dussehera. The people seek the blessings of the goddess for the coming year and thank the goddess for the gone year. The festivals can be called the festival of colours and the flowers. The women decorate a small wooden platform with colours and then the variety of the flowers as the Gunuka, Tangedi, Lotus, Alli, Katla, Teku, the gourd flower etc are arranged in a circular fashion in layers to make a conical arrangement of the flowers. The conical arrangement of the flowers signifies the mother goddess and is called the Bathukamma.
All the women assemble at a common place and place the conical stacks in the centre and then dance around it singing their traditional songs and clapping in unison. The festival is filled with fun and total excitements for the tourists. For the nine days the goddess is worshipped and on the tenth day of the celebration the goddess is immersed in the local waters with proper rituals and ceremony. There is a grandeur associated with the festival in the pages of the history but in the recent times the festival has lost the greatness but the enthusiasm with which the people celebrate the festival is still the same.
The women are seen clad in the beautiful traditional silk sarees. The young girls from the region also accompany the women and come out clad in the Langa-Oni which is a type of a half saree. The songs usually bear the wonderful stories related to the women, the social conditions, the economic conditions in the region, etc. The women of the region know the songs by heart and are seen to sing simultaneously and without beforehand practice.
The Bathukamma when floated on the tenth day around the evenings offer a beautiful, calming and a peaceful visual treat. The women exchange the traditional sindoors or the long red vertical mark that is applied n the foreheads that denotes the long life of their husbands.
Bathukamma-Telangana Floral Festival History:
Bathukamma means ‘come back to life mother’ and it is a asking for Goddess Sati to return back. 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 legend of Batukamma Panduga is mentioned in one of the historical texts scripted in Telugu. Centuries ago, King Dharmangada of Chola Dynasty used to rule South India. He was childless for many years after marriage. After performing many pujas and rituals, his wife gave birth to Goddess Lakshmi.
Baby Lakshmi survived many accidents. So, her parents named her Batukamma (Bathuku = life, Amma= suffix to female names and mother). Since then, Batukamma festival is celebrated by young girls in Telangana region. The main purpose of this festival is to worship the Goddess in the belief that the young girls would get husbands as per their wish. It is celebrated for nine days beginning from the Padyami (first day) of the month Ashvayuja (September-October).
There is another legend or katha about Bathukamma mentioned in Telugu books. Daksha performed a Yagna and invited everyone but his youngest daughter, Gauri, who married to Lord Shiva against his wish. In spite of Shivas will, Gauri went to the Yagna and insulted along with Lord Shiva. She was unable to tolerate the insult and sacrificed her life by setting herself ablaze. Wishing to bring her back, women present her flowers and make turmeric idol of the Goddess and sing and dance around the idol of Bathukamma.