Why do we celebrate Bathukamma

Bathukamma Festival

Batukamma celebrates the inherent relationship between earth, water, and human beings. During the entire preceding week, women make ‘boddemma’ (a deity of Gowri – mother Durga – made with earthly mud) along with Batukamma and immerse it in the pond. This helps reinforce the ponds and helps it retain more water.

The flowers used in Batukamma have a great quality of purifying water and such flowers when immersed in abundance into the pond have the effect of cleansing the water and making the environment much better. In times when the freshwater ponds are gradually diminishing and dwindling away, it is indeed a pride of Telangana that its womenfolk (with mostly agrarian backgrounds) inherently know how to make them better by celebrating the beauty of nature. It is something we indeed have to feel proud of.

The festival heralds the beauty of nature, the collective spirit of Telangana people, the indomitable spirit of women folks, and also the scientific approach of the agrarian people towards preserving the resources of nature in a celebrative way. Hence, Bathukamma is the icon of the cultural identity of Telangana.


The monsoon season in Telangana

IT brings an abundance of water to the ponds and tanks, transforming the region\’s arid plains into a vibrant display of wildflowers. Among these blooms, the most prevalent are the \’gunuka\’ and \’tangedu\’ flowers, while others like \’banthi,\’ \’chamanti,\’ and nandi vardhanam also add to the colorful spectacle.

A notable attraction during this season is the \’shilpakka pallu\’ or custard apples, which grow in the wild with minimal water and are often referred to as the \’poor man\’s apple.\’ Additionally, fields of corn, including \’jonna\’ and \’mokka jonna,\’ eagerly await the time of harvest.

The Women in Telangana:

Amidst this natural bounty, the women of Telangana celebrate the Bathukamma festival, which honors the beauty of the region\’s blooming flowers. The festivities commence a week before the grand finale, known as \’Saddula Bathukamma,\’ occurring two days prior to Dassera. During this time, women return to their parental homes from their in-laws, savoring the freedom to relish the vibrant colors of the season.

Throughout the week, small \’Bathukammas\’ are created, played with each evening, and then immersed in nearby ponds. On the final day, the men of the household venture into the wild plains to collect flowers like \’gunuka\’ and \’tangedu,\’ bringing back armfuls of these blossoms. The entire family gathers to arrange them meticulously.

The flowers are artfully assembled in circular rows, alternating colors, on a brass plate called \’taambalam.\’ The Bathukamma grows in size, and the white \’gunuka\’ flowers are painted with watercolors, creating colorful concentric layers with \’tangedu\’ interspersed. The Bathukamma is then placed before the family deity for prayers.

As evening approaches, women don their finest attire, embellish themselves with ornaments, and position the Bathukamma in their courtyards. Neighbors and friends join in, forming a large circle around it. They sing songs, circling the Bathukamma repeatedly, creating a beautiful, unified display of love and sisterhood.

Before dusk, the women carry the \’Batukammalu\’ on their heads in a procession towards a nearby water body. The procession is a dazzling spectacle, with elegantly dressed women and adorned Bathukammalu. Folk songs resonate through the streets as they move in unity, celebrating the beauty of nature and the bonds of sisterhood.

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