Bathukamma Festival – Pride and Privilege of Telangana
Bathukamma Festival is a unique, very important and largest festival celebrated for nine days by women of Telangana. This festival is unique identity of Telangana for its culture. Bathukamma festival is celebrated during the months September/October every year. ‘Mahalaya Amavasya’ is the start date of Bathukamma which goes for nine days. Last day is generally one or two days before Dussera (Durgashtami). Bathukamma is a ritual performed for Goddess Gauri (Gauramma). Nine days of Bathumma is also called as Navarathri in rest of India. 9thday of Bathumma is called as ‘Saddulu’ or ‘Pedda Bathukamma’.
How the festival is celebrated:
Bathukamma is a stack of flowers arranged in an order by various local seasonal flowers on a brass plate (called as Tambalam). The flowers generally used are gunugu puvvu, tangedi puvvu, banti puvvu and various other flowers. During these nine days, women prepare Bathumma from the noon. Flowers are stack like a cone on a Tambalam. During evenings of these nine days, women dress colorfully with their best attire and ornaments. Women take their Bathukamma and gather in large number near a pound/ lake/ temple. They form a circle with Bathukamma’s in the centre of the circle. They sing songs with clapping hands by going around it. Generally a woman sings and others chorus the song. (There are plenty of Bathukamma songs available). On the 9th day, the whole family sits together for preparation of the big Bathukamma. On the 9th day, there will be varity of dishes prepared. In some areas, they prepare five types of rice (pulihora, daddojanam, etc) and in some areas they prepare five kinds of flours. The unique dish ‘Maleeda’ is prepared on the 9th day. ‘Maleeda’ is prepared with jaggery and maize (jonnalu).
There is a saying that if you are born as a girl, you have to play Bathukamma. That’s the beauty of Bathukamma festival. This festival gives the importance of the relationship between human beings, earth and water. The scene of all Bathukammas floating in a lake on the 9th day is a life time experience. One has to visit Warangal/Hyderabad (Tankbund) on the 9th day of Bathukamma to enjoy the unique beauty of Bathukamma.