- Bathukamma is a Telangana festival celebrated by women for nine days during navaratri . It starts on mahalaya Amawasya and ends on ashwayuja ashtami which is two days before Düssera festival.It honors goddess Gauri on the name of bathukamma.
- There are many stories behind the origin of the festival.. According to the Hindu scholars there was a king named Dharmangada of chola dynasty who used to rule south India. After a lot of prayers his wife gave birth to a girl who was named goddess Lakshmi. During her childhood she survived many accidents. So the parents renamed her as Bathukamma .In Telugu bathukamma means “come alive mother goddess”.
- The purpose of this festival is to pray to goddess in the belief that young girls get good life partners ,to teach them to take care of their in -laws n respect elders. Married women pray to the goddess for good health n prosperity of their families.
- During this festival, Married women normally return back to the parents house from their in laws house. For the first five days they clean the courtyard ,cow dung mixed with water is spread all over n colorful rangoli or muggu is made. They prepare small bathukamma using cow dung in front of their houses . Men collect various types of flowers which bloom during the season from the wild plains. Flowers like tangedi,marigold etc are used to prepare bathukamma.
- The preparation of bathukamma starts from the afternoon . The flowers are cut leaving a little length base and are arranged in a conical shape on a plate ( thambulam). The flowers are arranged row after the row in seven concentric layers forming the shape of temple gopuram. Goddess Gauri Amma made with turmeric is placed on top of it. Once it is prepared it placed in front of the deity of God n prayed.
- As evening approaches women dress up in their best traditional attire n place the bathukamma in their courtyard. Other women from the neighborhood too get their bathukammallu and all the women form a circle around it. They will sing bathukamma songs while moving around it in a systematic pattern.
On the onset of dusk,women carry the bathukamma on their head to the nearest water body. The whole procession is colorful n festive filled with bathukamma songs. Once they reach the water body ,gauri Amma is taken back from the bathukamma and women apply this turmeric paste on their mangalasutra. They slowly immerse the bathukammallu into the pond. They return back to their home with empty plate( thambulam) singing songs.
Day 1: Engili pula Bathukamma
Day 2: Atkula Bathukamma
Day 3: Muddapappu Bathukamma
Day 4: Nanabiyyam Bathukamma
Day 5: Atla Bathukamma
Day 6: Aligina Bathukamma
Day 7: Vepakayala Bathukamma
Day 8: Vennamuddala Bathukamma
Day 9: Saddula Bathukamma
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