Are you ready for the Telangana state festival? Of course yes! 25th September to 2nd October is the time to enjoy all events related with this festival. Even the government is all set to celebrate the festival in a big way and preparations have already begun.
After all, the rich and vibrant culture of Telangana state will be spearheaded by women who will worship Goddess Gouri.
About Bathukamma festival
Also known as Panduga, this festival is largely celebrated by women during Navarathris. Bathukamma is actually Goddess Gouri who is worshiped during the festival for a prosperous life.
Turmeric idol is placed on top of colourful flowers which signify life and happiness. This basket of flowers or Bathukamma is immersed in local water bodies (Bathukamma visarjan) on the 10th day of Navrathri.
Preparations for Bathukamma Festival in Hyderabad
Well, a lot is being done for making the celebrations a perfect one! Steps are being constructed for easy access to the water body and Vallabharao kunta tank (near Nalgonda by-pass road) is being readied for grand immersion of Bathukammas. Water in the tank would be released on 23 September from Alimineti Madhav Reddy Project (AMRP) Canal to fill it up.
Beautiful Flower Basket or Bathukamma
Seasonal flowers are stacked in concentric layers (usually seven layers) in a conical mound with pumpkin flower on the top. These flowers also have medicinal value and include lotus, alli, katla, teku, gunuka, tangedi etc. brought by the men folk.
Women wear silk sarees and are decked up with jewellery for this festival. Young girls wear lehanga-orni and folk songs relating to Bathukamma festival reverberate in the air.
Women dance clapping in unison and synchronizing their dance steps making the whole atmosphere really festive! Married women exchange kumkum and haldi too. After prayers and festivities are over, prasad prepared of jaggery is distributed to women.
On the last day of the festival, just before Dussehra, you must make a trip to visit Warangal Fort (150 kms.) to enjoy this festival to the hilt.
Myths Associated with Bathukamma Festival
Daksha performed a yagna but did not invite his daughter Gouri and her husband Shiva. However, Gouri attended the yagna much against Shiva's will but when Shiva arrived, she found it difficult to bear the insult Daksha meted out to Shiva.
She entered the yagna and sacrificed her life. Women pray to Gouri wishing her to bring her back and even make a turmeric idol of Gouri. Another legend is about King Dharmangada of Chola Dynasty who ruled in South India. He prayed and performed many rituals as he was childless.
His wife Satyavati soon gave birth to a baby girl believed to be Goddess Lakshmi. As a little girl, Lakshmi survived many accidents and was named Bathukamma. Since then, this festival is celebrated in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh with much enthusiasm.
There is yet another myth associated with this festival. Goddess Gouri killed 'Mahishasura' --- the demon. Then she went to sleep on 'Aswayuja Padyami'. It is to wake her up that women and other devotees pray so fervently to wake her up on 'Dashmi day'.
Bathukamma means ‘come back to life mother’ and it is a asking for Goddess Sati to return back. Actually Sati later returned as Goddess Parvati. Thus, women also pray to Goddess Parvati.