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|Type||Floral Festival of Goddess Gauri|
|Observances||States of Telangana and some parts of Andhra Pradesh, and some parts of Vidarbha India|
|Begins||Mahalaya Amavasya (Pitru Amavasya)|
Bathukamma is floral festival celebrated predominantly in Telangana and some parts of Andhra Pradesh. Every year this festival is celebrated as per Sathavahana calendar for nine days starting Bhadrapada Pournami (also known as Mahalaya Amavasya or Pitru Amavasya) till Durgashtami, 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 Navami, 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, Gauri Devi.
Historically, bathukamma meant "festival of life" and was celebrated to thank Goddess Parvati for her blessings for the crop harvest and income she helped generate this (current) year and again ask her blessing for the next year.
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. The 2017 dates are 20–28 September. Day 1: Angili pula Bhathukamma Day 2: Attukula Bhathukamma Day 3: Muddappappu Bhathukamma Day 4: Nanbiyyam Bhathukamma Day 5: Atla Bhathukamma Day 6: Aligina Bhathukamma (alaka Bhathukamma) Day 7: Vepakayala Bhathukamma Day 8: Venna muddala Bhathukamma Day 9: Saddula Bhathukamma brothers bring flowers to mother and sisters
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In AD 973 Rashtrakuta feudal Chalukya lord Tailapa II defeated the last king Karka-II of Rashtrakuta kings and established independent Kalyani Chalukya kingdom. After the death of Tailapa II in AD 997 his son Satyashraya became the king. In the erstwhile kingdom of Vemulavaada (present Karimnagar District), Rajarajeswara temple is popular. Chola king, Paraantaka Sundara Chola was in trouble while defending the attack from Rashtrakuta kings. Learning that Rajarajeswara will help those in troubles Paraantak Chola turned as his devotee.
Also, he named his son as Raja Raja. This is evident from Arikesari epigraph. Raja Raja Chola ruled between AD 985 and 1014. His son Rajendra Chola attacked as a Chief of Army and stood victorious on Satyaasraya. As a sign of his victory he destroyed Rajeswara’s temple and took the Bruhat (huge) Siva linga to his father as a gift. In 1006 Raja Raja Chola had started building a temple to this huge Sivalinga (Brihadeswara). In 1010 he installed this Linga. Chola kings also announced in Tamil epigraphs that this Brihadeswara temple is built from the wealth looted in the attack on Vemulavaada Chalukya kingdom.
Even now the similarities between the Sivalinga of Vemulavaada Bheemeswaralayam and Sivalinga of Brihadeeswaralayam of Tanjavuru can be seen. Taking away the Sivalinga from Vemulavaada to Tanjavuru downhearted people of the Kingdom. After leaving the Kingdom, in the form of Linga, along with an attempt to console Paarvathi (Bruhadamma) in the temple here and to inform sorrowfulness to Cholas, Batukamma is arranged with flowers like Meru mountain. On its top Gouramma made with turmeric is placed and is recounted with sing and play for nine days. Dispatching her in water and calling her back took a shape of a festival.
Batukamma name is derived from Batuku which means life in Telugu, Amma is mother. Batukamma festival is a social denouncing movement practiced from 1000 years. Only songs are sung with mother Goddess Parvathi’s name with comforting, who is without shiva.
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 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, 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.
The songs are to invoke the blessings of various goddesses.
Each day has a name mainly signifying the type of "naivedyam" (food offering) offered. Most of the naivedyam 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.
- 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).
- 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)
- Muddapappu Bathukamma: The third day of Bathukamma falls on Vidiya/second day of Aswwayuja masam.
Food offering/Naivedyam: muddapappu (softened boiled lentils), milk and bellam (jaggery)
- Nanabiyyam Bathukamma: The fourth day falls on thidiya/third day of Aswayuja masam.
Food offering/Naivedyam: nananesina biyyam (wet rice), milk, and bellam (jaggery)
- Atla Bathukamma: The fifth day falls on the chathurdi/fourth day of Aswayuja masam.
Food offering/Naivedyam: uppidi pindi atlu (pan cakes made from wheatlets), or Dosa
- Aligina Bathukamma: The sixth day falls on the panchami/fifth day of Aswayuja masam.
No food offering is made.
- Vepakayala Bathukamma: The seventh day falls on the sashti/sixth day of Ashwayuja masam.
Food offering/Naivedyam: rice flour shaped into the fruits of neem tree is deepfried.
- 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)
- 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)
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.
For 9 days of festival each day a Nivedyam or a special dish sattu is prepared and offered to the goddess. General 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.
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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". 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.
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..
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- Chinese guests to savour Telangana’s flavour this Bathukamma
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