Did You Know? This State Has Its Own Version of Navratri That’s Celebrated with Flowers!

Bathukamma is Telangana’s very own version of Navratri. It is a colourful and vibrant festival that is symbolic of the cultural identity of the state. It is also celebrated in some parts of Andhra Pradesh.

What is Bathukamma?

Bathukamma is a beautiful flower stack, arranged with various unique seasonal flowers, most of which have medicinal values, arranged ornately in the shape of a temple gopuram. The Bathukamma is meant to represent Goddess Maha Gauri.

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This year, Bathukamma will be celebrated from today, October 16 till October 24.

Significance of Bathukamma

There are various versions of why the festival is celebrated. According to one version, Bathukamma meant ‘festival of life’ and was celebrated to thank Goddess Parvati for the bountiful crop harvest and to ask for her blessings for the next year. 

Another version details how Goddess Gauri killed the demon Mahishasura and went to sleep afterwards due to fatigue. The devotees prayed to her to wake up and she woke up on the last day of Bathukamma. 

Interestingly, on the last day of the festival the Bathukamma is immersed by women in the local pond. It is believed that the flowers that make up the Bathukamma generally have great purifying properties and help in cleansing and gently purifying the pond water.

The Celebrations

On the first five days of the festival, women clean their courtyard with cow dung and make beautiful rice flour rangolis. Bathukamma is also prepared with cow dung for these first five days. 

Afterwards, men of the house gather many seasonal flowers including Marigold, Chrysanthemum, Indian Lotus, Teku, etc. which give the Bathukamma its unique and vibrant properties. 

Arranging flowers in the shape of a Bathukamma is a folk art. Songs are also sung to invoke the blessings of various goddesses. Each day a Naivedyam or a special dish is offered to the goddess. 

While usually young children are mainly involved in the preparation of the offerings for the first eight days, all the women take part in the preparation on the final day of Bathukamma.

The last day of the festival is called Saddula Bathukamma. On this day, the Bathukamma is immersed in water bodies. This event is celebrated with utmost devotion and enthusiasm throughout Telangana. 

So what are you waiting for, dear traveller? Get ready to experience the rich visual treat offered by the Bathukamma!

Image credits: www.masterweaverindia.com