HYDERABAD: While West Bengal is known for ‘Pujo’ (also known as Durga Puja) and Maharashtra for Ganesh Chaturthi, the newly-formed state of Telangana can claim the floral festival of Bathukamma its own, as it flaunted the glory and culture of Telangana like never before.
The whole area from LB Stadium in Nampally to the Tank Bund was decorated for the procession of the much-awaited festival and no motor vehicles were allowed. The sight looked like a pompous carnival with many artistes availing the opportunity to showcase different folk arts of the state, which were repressed for quite some time now. The heavy motor vehicles were decorated with different themes, some portraying the picturesque places of Telangana while the others, as famous temples in the state.
Folk artistes ranging from Telangana’s age- old Pothuraju to the Lambadas and Gangireddu (decorated bulls), performed on the streets and bestowed a visual treat to everyone at the venue, including the two and four-wheelers on the other side of the road, who halted their vehicles just to capture the festivities on their cameras.
While the procession started at 5.30 in the evening, the entire morning had been spent in preparing as many as 10,000 Bathukammas, which will later be left floating on Hussainsagar Lake. While it is an annual affair for local women, the gathering at LB Stadium at Nampally comprised women from all the ten districts of the state. “Finally, it feels like a festival,” exclaimed Ramulamma from Mahbubnagar district who further informed that the festival was suppressed in the past. “It is today that we realised the greatness of our festival. I am glad that at least the coming generations will,” said Narmada, a teacher at Zilla Parishad High School, Mahbubnagar.
Along with her came her students who played Kolatam, a folk dance with sticks. Women from Nizambad flaunted the biggest of Bathukammas which approximately stood 7 feet tall. “This year, we wanted it to be special as we are celebrating with other people of the state,” said Rajeshwari of Nizamabad, who is a member of the Indira Kranthi Patham self-help group.