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Flower power: Double joy for Telangana residents in Bathukamma 2020

With the State’s hinterland becoming verdant stretches of bumper Kharif crops, and its lakes and reservoirs teeming with water, the festival of colours is turning out to be very different.

Published: 18th October 2020 01:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th October 2020 09:42 AM   |  A+A-

Comprising seven concentric layers, the Bathukamma is stacked in the shape of a temple’s ‘Gopura’. (Photo | Vinay Madapu/EPS)

Express News Service

WARANGAL:  This time around, Bathukamma, Telangana’s major cultural festival, has doubled the joy of residents.

With the State’s hinterland becoming verdant stretches of bumper Kharif crops, and its lakes and reservoirs teeming with water, the festival of colours is turning out to be very different from the ones that Telangana has known before.The nine-day Bathukamma  fête — the quintessence of Telangana culture — got off to a colourful start, and is filling households with joy and contentment.

The women are out dancing Bathukamma numbers in celebration of bounty. Telangana outback, which has always been cursed with drought, is now slowly turning into the land of milk and honey.  

During these nine days, the menfolk of the house in rural areas would go out every morning into the agriculture fields or forests to pluck flowers. The entire family would then sit together and help each other arrange these flowers into a Bathukamma. 

Comprising seven concentric layers, the Bathukamma is stacked in the shape of a temple’s ‘Gopura’. Gauramma, a symbolic idol of Goddess Gowri made of turmeric, is placed on top of the flowers.

This little floral mountain is worshipped as Goddess Bathukamma. Flowers of various hues and species, like celosia, cassia, marigold, chrysanthemum, flower of pumpkin, luffa and others, are used in the arrangement.

A peek into the lores and legends

There are several myths behind the Bathukamma festival. Some say that after Goddess Gauri killed Mahishasura in a fierce fight, she went into a deep sleep on Aswayuja Padyami.

Devotees prayed for her to wake up, and she did on Dasami, thus marking the festival.

Some others say that Goddess Bathukamma was born to Chola king Dharmangada and queen Satyavati. The couple had lost all their 100 sons in a battle, and had prayed to Goddess Lakshmi for her to be born in their household as their child. Lakshmi heard their sincere prayers and chose to oblige them.

After she was born in the royal palace, all the sages blessed her with immortality. The festival is a celebration of her life.

The pandemic may have played spoilsport for the festivities this year, with restrictions on mass gatherings. But thanks to the relentless monsoon, almost all the major water sources of the State are filled to the brim.

Batukamma comes just in time to revere them, and celebrate the bountiful harvest they’ve brought

Gauramma or a symbolic idol of Goddess Gowri made of turmeric is placed atop the seven-layered, concentric flower arrangement

Offerings aplenty!

  • Day 1  Engili Poola Bathukamma.

  • Offerings: Sesame seeds and rice flour.

  • Day 2 Atkula Bathukamma. 

  • Offerings: Bland boiled lentils, jaggery and flattened parboiled rice.

  • Day 3 Muddapappu Bathukamma.

  • Offerings: Softened boiled lentils (muddapappu), milk and jaggery.

  • Day 4 Nanabiyyam Bathukamma.

  • Offerings: Wet rice (nananesina biyyam), milk and jaggery.

  • Day 5 Atla Bathukamma. 

  • Offerings: Pancakes made of wheat (uppidi pindi atlu).

  • Day 6 Aligina Bathukamma.

  • Offerings: None.

  • Day 7 Vepakayala Bathukamma .

  • Offerings: Rice flour shaped into neem fruit.

  • Day 8  Venna Muddala Bathukamma.

  • Offerings: A mix of sesame seeds, butter or ghee and jaggery.

  • Day 9 Saddula Bathukamma or Durgashtami.

  • After dancing their heart out to folk songs, the women, on the final day of the festival, carry their Bathukammas to the nearest pond or canal for immersion.

  • The day offers a fiesta to food lovers with curd rice, tamarind rice, lemon rice, coconut rice and sesame rice on the menu.


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Bathukamma

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