Bathukamma comes throughout the last half of monsoon, before the beginning of winter. The monsoon rains generally brings a load of water into the new water ponds of Telangana and it is also the time when wild flowers blossom in different lively colours all across the unfarmed and infertile plains of the region. The most plentiful of these are the ‘gunuka poolu’ and ‘tangedu poolu’. There are other flowers too like the banti, chemanti, nandi-vardhanam etc. Bathukamma is celebrated by the women folk of Telangana, heralding the beauty of nature in vivacious colours of multitudinous flowers.
History of Bathukamma Festival
According to the Hindu spiritual scholars and pundits, once upon a time there was a King named Dharmangada who belonged to the Chola Dynasty. This particular king principally ruled over South India. They lost their hundred sons in the war front. So they prayed and performed ceremony to Goddesses Lakshmi to be born as their daughter. His wife gave birth to a girl child after many years of rituals and appeal. She was named as Princess Lakshmi. For the period of Baby Lakshmi brought up she survived several unexpected accidents and incidents in life. The parents felt life and death while bring up their only child. Afterwards they named their daughter as Bathukamma. According to the Telugu language, Bathuku means ‘life’ and Amma means a ‘female names and mother’.
Then on this particular Bathukamma celebration is magnificently celebrated by young girls in Telangana region of Telangana in India. The major purpose of this particular festival is to request with dedication to the Goddess in the strong faith that all young girls would get their beloved husbands as per their desire and wish soon.
Bathukamma celebration has lots of myths following its celebration. According to the Hindu religious scholars and pundits, one myth regarding Goddess Gauri is that she after a ferocious fight killed ‘Mahishasura’ the devil. After this serious act, she went into deep sleep due to exhaustion on the ‘Aswayuja Padyami’ day. All the Hindu spiritual devotees powerfully prayed with devotion and dedication for her to wake up. It is to be noted that she woke up on the Dashami day.
Rituals of Bathukamma
The celebration begins a week previous to the majestic ‘Saddula Batukamma’ (the grand finale of the Batukamma festival) which falls two days before Dussehra. Women gather in the evening with their bathukammas and place them in the middle. The women dance around them. They sing folk songs. After singing and dancing Bathukammas are taken to a lake and are set a float in the water. For the nine days, in the evening, women, particularly young girls, meet in large numbers with their Bathukammas in open areas of their area. All women will form a circle around the Bathukamma and start singing folk songs by appreciation their hands and revolving around the Bathukamma. On the last day, the men folk of the house go into the natural plains and meet the flowers like gunuka and tangedi. They bring home bagfuls of these flowers and the whole household sits down to make the big ‘Batukamma’. After playing in circles about the Batukammalu, before the beginning of twilight, the women folk carry them on their heads and move as a march towards a bigger water body near the village or town. Ultimately, when they attain the water pond the Batukammalu are slowly immersed into water after some more playing and singing
Celebration of Bathukamma
Throughout the first five days, women freshens their court. The cow dung is then mixed with water and increase during as the ground-base. Then it is further decorated with a rangoli which is made of rice flour. The men gather the flowers of lively colours and types for the arrangements. There flowers are mainly; Celosia, Senna, Marigold, Lotus, Cucurbita, Cucumis etc. The preparations and decorating the rangoli and other things is folk art and generally, the preparations begin from afternoon.