Bathukamma

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Bathukamma
Batukamma Logo.png
Also called Telangana's Floral Festival
Observed by Hindu women of the Telangana State , India
Type Spring Festival of Goddess Gauri
Celebrations 9 days
Begins Mahalaya Amavasya,PetharAmasa
Ends Durgashtami
Date September/October
Duration 9 days
Frequency Annual
Related to Dasara

Bathukamma (Telugu: బతుకమ్మ) is Telangana's floral festival celebrated by the Hindu women of Telangana and neighbouring states in India. 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 will 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

Bathukamma represents cultural spirit of Telangana. Bathukamma is a beautiful flower stack, arranged with different unique seasonal flowers most of them with medicinal values, in seven concentric layers in the shape of temple gopuram. In Telugu, ‘Bathukamma' means ‘Mother Goddess come Alive’ and Goddess Maha Gauri-‘Life Giver’ is worshipped in the form of Bathukamma – the patron goddess of womanhood, Maha Gauri Devi

It is the festival for feminine felicitation. On this special occasion women dress up in the traditional sari combining it with jewels and other accessories. Teenage Girls wear Langa-Oni/Half-Sarees/Lehenga Choli combining it with jewels in order to bring out the traditional grace of the attire.

Preparation[edit]

On first five days women will clean their vakili (courtyard), cow dung mixed with water is spread in the courtyard as a ground-base, decorate the ground-base with managala aakara or muggu patterns or rangoli made of rice flour. For the first five days Batukamma is prepared with cow dung. Five small lumps in cone shape are arranged in the vakili.

Men in the house gather 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, etc., which bloom in this season in various vibrant colors all across the uncultivated and barren plains of 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, some dip Gunugu (Celosia) flowers in various vibrant colours, some scented and arrange them on a wide plate called Thambalam spread with big leaves, and stack them up in a conical mound, filling the cone with leaves and stems of the flower stalks, decorated with a Lotus or Pumpkin Flower on top of the stack along with Gouramma (a symbolic idol of Gowri made of turmeric). One interesting aspect of the preparation of the flower arrangement is that the arrangement usually floats in water for sometime, and the arrangement is not disassembled until it drowns in water.

Flowers used in Bathukamma[edit]

The Ritual[edit]

For the nine days, in the evening, women, especially young girls, gather in large numbers with their Bathukammas in open areas of their locality. All women will form a circle around the Bathukamma and start singing folk songs by clapping their hands and revolving around the Bathukamma, synchronizing steps and claps in unison provide a splendorous look to the festivities. Women seek good health, prosperity and happiness for their families. The songs are to invoke the blessings of various goddesses. By principle, the rendition end with any one of the following three tributes Uyyaala - ఉయ్యాల, Chandamama - చందమామ or Gouramma - గౌరమ్మ.

Telangana Women Celebrating Bathukamma

Each day has a name mainly signifying the type of "naivedyam" (food offering) offered. Most of the naivedyam (food offering) offered are very simple to prepare, and usually young children or young girls are mainly involved in the preparation of the offerings for the first eight days of the festival. The last day, called saddula Bathukamma is when all the women take part in the preparation. Following is the list of names for each day and the naivedyam offered on that day. {reference: hinupad.com/9-days-bathukamma-festival/}

1) Engili pula Bathukamma- The first day of the festival falls on Mahalaya Amavasya, also known as Pethara Amavasya in Telangana region. Food offering/Naivedyam: Nuvvulu(Sesame seeds) with biyyampindi(rice flour) or nookalu(coarsely ground wet rice).

2) Atkula Bathukamma: The second day is called Atkula bathukamma, falls on the Padyami(first day) of Ashwayuja masam. Food offering/Naivedyam: Sappidi pappu(Bland boiled lentils), bellam(jaggery), and atkulu (flattened parboiled rice)

3)Muddapappu Bathukamma: The third day of Bathukamma falls on Vidiya/second day of Ashwayuja masam. Food offering/Naivedyam: muddapappu (softened boiled lentils), milk and bellam(jaggery)

4)Nanabiyyam Bathukamma: The fourth day falls on thidiya/third day of Ashwayuja masam. Food offering/Naivedyam: nananesina biyyam(wet rice), milk, and bellam(jaggery)

5)Atla Bathukamma: The fifth day falls on the chathurdi/fourth day of Ashwayuja masam. Food offering/Naivedyam: uppidi pindi atlu( pan cakes made from wheatlets), or Dosa

6)Aligina Bathukamma: The sixth day falls on the panchami/fifth day of Ashwayuja masam. No food offering is made.

7)Vepakayala Bathukamma: The seventh day falls on the sashti/sixth day of Ashwayuja masam. Food offering/Naivedyam: riceflour shaped into the fruits of neem tree is deepfried.

8)Vennamuddala Bathukamma: The eight day falls on sapthami/seventh day of Ashwayuja masam. Food offering/Naivedyam: nuvvulu(sesame), Venna(Butter) or ghee(clarified butter), and bellam(jaggery)

9) Saddula Bathukamma: The ninth day of bathukamma is celebrated on ashtami/eight day of Ashwayuja masam, and coincides with Durgashtami. Food offering/Naivedyam: Five types of cooked rice dishes: perugannam saddi(curd rice), chinthapandu pulihora saddi(tamarind rice), nimmakaya saddi(lemon rice), kobbara saddi(coconut rice) and nuvvula saddi(sesame rice)

Saddula Bathukamma[edit]

This festival is celebrated for nine days and concludes on Durgastami. The last day of the festival is called Saddula Bathukamma. On this final day immersion of Bathukamma (Bathukamma Visarjan) in water bodies is celebrated with utmost devotion and enthusiasm with rhythmic drum beats throughout Telangana. The evening offers a beautiful, calming and a peaceful visual treat. Guramma (a symbolic idol of Gowri made of turmeric) is taken back from Bathukamma before immersion and every married woman applies a paste of this, on her Mangala sutra that marks the solemnization of her marriage and also her husband is protected from all evils and ill fate.

Maleeda

For 9 days of festival each day a Nivedyam or a special dish is prepared and offered to the goddess. Generally ingredients of the dishes are Corn (మొక్క జొన్నలు), Sorghum (జొన్నలు), Bajra (సజ్జలు), Black Gram (మినుములు), Bengal Gram (శనగలు), Green Gram (పెసర్లు), Ground Nuts (పల్లి), Sesame (నువ్వులు), Wheat (గోధుమలు), Rice (బియ్యము), Cashew Nut (Kaju), Jaggery (బెల్లం), Milk (పాలు) etc. Maleeda - a combination of Roti and Jaggery, is prepared on this day and distributed at the end of the event.

Myth[edit]

Once upon a time, King Dharmangada of Chola Dynasty used to rule South India. After many prayers and rituals, his wife gave birth to Goddess Lakshmi. Baby Lakshmi survived many accidents. So, the parents named her Bathukamma (Bathuku = Life, Amma = Mother). Since then Bathukamma festival is celebrated by young girls in Telangana. The purpose of this festival is to pray to the Goddess in the belief that the young girls would get husbands as per their wish, to teach the young girls how to take care of their in-laws, their husbands, be great women who respect elders, love people around them, be guides to their younger ones. Further, married women celebrate the festival to pray to the Goddess for good health and prosperity of their families.

Other Stories[edit]

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 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".

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.

This festival is celebrated with joy and gaiety. During these celebrations, there are dance performances, music, dramas and a variety of entertainments as thousands of tourists and locals too, flock to witness the happenings. 'Jataras' are also held during this month long celebrations.

References[edit]

1. A journey through change (http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/mp/2005/02/22/stories/2005022200770300.htm). The Hindu, 22 February 2005. Retrieved 6 October 2011.

2. Joys of cooking (http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/Food/article799015.ece), The Hindu, 27 September 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2011.

3. “Goddess Gauri” (http://web.archive.org/web/20071216181412/http://www.csuohio.edu/hindu/Gauri.htm). About Hinduism. Hindu Student Association. Cleveland State University. 2006-02-20. Archived from the original http://www.csuohio.edu/hindu/Gauri.htm) on 2007-08-11. Retrieved 2011-10-06.

4. Indian Divine Festival. “Bathukamma Festival(Panduga)’ (http://populartourismplaces.blogspot.in/2012/10/telengana-divine-festival-bathukamma.html). Retrieved 19 October 2012.

5. Grand finale to Bathukamma (http://www.hindu.com/2007/10/19/stories/2007101958130300.htm), The Hindu, 19 October 2007. Retrieved 6 October 2011.

Reference Book, Bathukamma Panduga Patalu Mariyu Sampradhayalu by Thatikonda Vishnu Murthy, Akunoor, Warangal Dist.,Telangana.,India.

External links[edit]