Bathukamma Panduga Festival - Telangana
Bathukamma Panduga Festival is one of the most important and unique festival in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Bathukamma 2017 begins on September 21 and ends on September 30. It is also the state festival of Telangana. The festival is mainly observed by women and is dedicated to Goddess Bathkamma – who is an incarnation of Goddess Sati. The first day of Bathukamma Panduga is on September 21, 2017. The festival concludes on September 30, 2017 with Chaddula Bathukamma.
Bathukamma means ‘come back to life mother’ and is asking Goddess Sati to return back. Legend has it that Sati returned as Goddess Parvati and therefore the festival is also dedicated to Goddess Parvati.The idol of the Goddess Bathukamma during the festival is made using flowers. The murti of Bahtukamma is immersed in water on the final day of the festivities.
During the Bathukamma festival girls and women arrange flowers on a big plate in vertical format – like a cone with a flat top. Circular rows of different varieties of flowers available during the season are placed on top of one row. The number of rows varies from region to region and is left to the discretion of the women making it. Turmeric and a dry coconut is placed atop the flower cone pyramid.
This flower cone with flat top is worshipped as Bathukamma.
Women and girls stand in a circle and sing songs as they go around the colorful Bathukammas, which is placed in the center. Women clap, dance rhythmically around the Bathukamma flower murti.On the final day, women gather at a temple pond or a lake, again sing and dance, after which they immerse Bathukammas in water.
Bathukamma songs are hugely popular and women take pride in singing them beautifully. Women and young girls clap and sing the rythmic folk chants around in small circles.One of the most important Bathkamma Panduga rituals is held at the Bhadrakali Temple in Warangal.
The sight of neatly dressed women and girls in saris and other traditional dress with jewelry and lots of flowers on their hair and with Bathukammas in their hands, or on their heads, is a wonderful sight.
As the nascent southern state is now into its third year, the nine-day Bathukamma is poised to be celebrated in several parts of the world, thanks to smart marketing by Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter Kalvakuntla Kavitha, a parliamentarian.
“Bathukamma is going to be identified with Telangana culture in a big way,” says the Lok Sabha member from Nizamabad. “We are planning to give it a distinct identity on the lines of Onam, which mirrors Kerala’s ethos.”Since the formation of Telangana in June 2014, the government led by Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has been celebrating puja-time Bathukamma as a state festival. Literally meaning ‘Mother of Life’, is not a religious event, but essentially a worship of nature by womenfolk.
A defining feature of the festivity is colourfully patterned arrangement of endemic wild flowers such as cassia, acacia, marigold, chrysanthemum and celosia. The daily ritual is much like what Malayalis do ahead of Onam to welcome the banished mythological king Mahabali—only that in Bathukamma, womenfolk also go around these floral arrangements by singing songs. At the end of the ninth day on Durgashtami, these heaps of flowers are immersed in nearby ponds.
Telangana and Andhra Pradesh
Nine days, in the evening, women, especially young girls, gather in large numbers with their Bathukammas in open areas of their locality. All women will form a circle around the Bathukamma and start singing folk songs by clapping their hands and revolving around the Bathukamma