Bathukamma Festival

Bathukamma is a colourful and vibrant festival of Telangana and celebrated by women, with flowers that grow exclusively in each region. This festival is a symbol of Telangana’s cultural identity.

Bathukamma comes during the latter half of monsoon, before the onset of winter. The monsoon rains usually brings plenty of water into the fresh water ponds of Telangana and it is also the time when wild flowers bloom in various vibrant colors all across the uncultivated and barren plains of the region. The most abundant 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 vibrant colors of multitudinous flowers

Bathukamma festival is celebrated during Durga Navratri. Bathukamma festival begins on the day of Mahalaya Amavasya and the festival continues till nine days, ending on the day of Durgashtami.

Bathukamma means 'Mother Goddess come alive' and the festival represents the cultural spirit of Telangana, symbolizing the patron Goddess of womanhood. The festival is also regarded as the Spring Festival of Goddess Gauri. Bathukamma festival is a floral festival and during the festival, a beautiful flower stack is arranged in a unique style in shape of a temple, which usually consists of seasonal flowers, having medicinal values.

During the first five days, women clean their courtyard. The cow dung is then mixed with water and spread throughout as the ground-base. Then it is further decorated with a rangoli which is made of rice flour.

The men collect the flowers of vibrant colours and types for the preparations. 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. 

The list of names of each day as it is celebrated:
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

Day 1: Engili Puvvula Bathukamma
It is celebrated on the Pethara Amasa (Mahalaya Amavasya – Bhadrapada Amavasya).

Naivedyam, Palaharam for Engili Puvvula Bathukamma is any recipe made with nuvvulu (til / sesame), rice flour or Nookalu or just the mixture of sesame seeds and wet rice.

Day 2: Atukula Bathukamma
It falls on the first day of Ashwayuja Masam (Navaratri Kalasha Sthapana)

Naivedyam, Palaharam for Atukula Bathukamma is any recipe made with Atukulu, Sappadi Pappu, bellam (jaggery), etc..

Day 3: Muddhapappu Bathukamma
It is observed on second day of Ashwayuja Masam (Preethi Vidiya)

Naivedyam, Palaharam for Muddhapappu Bathukamma is any recipe made with Muddhapappu (dal), paalu (milk) or bellam (jaggery).

Day 4: Nanbiyyam Bathukamma
It falls on the third day of Navaratri festival. (Sindhura Thadiya Gauri)

Naivedyam, Palaharam for Nanabiyyam Bathukamma is any recipe made with Nanabiyyam (wet rice), milk and jaggery.

Day 5: Atla Bathukamma
It is celebrated on fourth day of Navratri utsavams.

Naivedyam, Palaharam for Atla Bathukamma is any recipe made with uppudu biyyam, dosha, atlu, etc.

Day 6: Aligina Bathukamma (Alaka Bathukamma)
It falls on the fifth day of Navaratri which is also celebrated as Lalita Panchami. Bathukamma is not prepared on this and not offered

No Naivedyam, Palaharam for Aligina Bathukamma. Women do not prepare Bathukamma but playBathukamma. But they do not offer any palaharam to bathukamma on this day.

Day 7: Vepakayala Bathukamma
This Bathukamma falls on sixth day of Navaratri (Durga Shashti day)

Naivedyam, Palaharam for Vepakayala Bathukamma is recipe made with sakinala pindi in the form of vepakayalu (Neem fruits – Azadirachta indica).

Day 8: Vennamuddhala Bathukamma
It falls on the seventh day of Durga Navaratri (Durga Saptami / Maha Saptami)

Naivedyam, Palaharam for Vennamuddhala Bathukamma is recipe made with venna (butter), neyyi (ghee), nuvvulu (til / sesame), jaggery, etc..

Day 9: Saddhula Bathukamma
Final Day of Bathukamma festival is Saddhula Bathukamma. The Bathukammas prepared in big sizes than regular days and are immersed in water (Bathukamma Nimajjanam). It falls on Durga Ashtami day and in some instances it falls on Mahanavami day.

Naivedyam, Palaharam for Saddula Bathukamma is five fried rice varieties that are the special of Telangana dishes –
Perugu saddhi (Perugannam saddhi – Curd rice)
Chinthapandu Pulihora saddhi (Tamarind rice)
Nimmakaya saddhi (lemon rice)
Kobbari saddhi (coconut rice)
Nuvvula saddhi (sesame rice). 

According to the Hindu religious scholars and pundits, once upon a time there was a King named Dharmangada who belonged to the Chola Dynasty. This particular king largely ruled over South India. His wife gave birth to a girl child after many years of rituals and prayer. She was named as Princess Lakshmi.

During Baby Lakshmi brought up she survived many unforeseen accidents and incidents in life. The parents felt life and death while bring up their only child. Later they named their daughter as Bathukamma. According to the Telugu language, Bathuku means life and Amma means a female names and mother.

The main purpose of this particular festival is to pray with devotion to the Goddess in the strong belief that all young girls would get their beloved husbands as per their desire and wish soon.

On the other hand, married women along with their household friends and relatives celebrate this festival in order to pray to the Goddess for prosperity and good health of their family. This particular festival is primarily celebrated by unmarried young girls who are in the marriageable age. On the other hand men folks along with their wife’s and other family members, relatives and friends help in the gathering of flowers and floral arrangement of a beautiful flower stack during the festival season.

This festival is plays a vital role in the culture and tradition of Telangana. Every year, Bathukamma festival is eagerly looked forward by the Hindu religious people.