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Bathukamma – the super festival of Telangana

Incredible India – we are all proud of our incredible country which has a unique cultural diversity which has amazed the world over. There still are a lot of unknown festivals n cultural fervours which get organised in different parts of our rural areas.

Bathukamma is one such festival about which very little was known till now. Bathukamma is an embodiment of the spirit of Telangana. Telangana is the youngest state of our country and after the formation of the state – hidden wonders and festivals are surfacing. The festival is an important part of the cultural renaissance movement of Telangana and has now been accorded the State Festival status in the newly formed state.

Bathukamma is literally a celebration of life. It is a unique tribute to nature, which starts with colourful flowers and culminates in a water body. It’s celebrated for nine days. Divine fervour, floral beauty and songs encompass the ritual spirit of Bathukamma in all nine days of its celebrations. It is primarily a women’s festival. It begins on the day of Bhadrapada / Mahalaya Amavasya and concludes on Ashwayuja Ashtami, based on the lunar calendar.

The floral festival is a significant women-based festival. The women folk normally get back to their parents’ homes from their in-laws and breathe the fresh air of freedom to celebrate the colours of flowers. For one whole week, they make small ‘Bathukammas’, play around them every evening and immerse them in a nearby water pond. On the last day, the menfolk of the house go into the wild plains and gather the flowers. They bring home bagfuls of flowers and the entire household sits down to arrange them in stacks.

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

The flowers used in Bathukamma have a great quality of purifying water in ponds and tanks and flowers so immersed in abundance are environment friendly.

The festival heralds the beauty of nature, the collective spirit of Telangana people, the indomitable spirit of women folk and also the ecological spirit of the agrarian people in preserving the natural resources in a festive way.

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