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Festival of Flowers – Bathukamma

Cheat Sheet Principle of Life: Bathukamma is also called as Festival of Flowers. It is celebrated in  Telangana State in India.


Bathukamma strikes again! It was celebrated on a grand scale in the new Telangana State. In the struggle for the formation of Telangana State, Bathukamma was celebrated to highlight our distinctiveness from Andhra Pradesh. After formation of Telangana State, the festival was celebrated as a show of victory.

There are different Bathukamma legends. One story is that Goddess Gauri after winning the battle with the demon Mahishasura, gets tired and rests. All the women pray for her revival by making beautiful pyramid shaped flower arrangements and pray Bathuku Amma (Live Mother). The Bathukammas (flower arrangement) will be baded goodbye by placing them carefully in the water to be carried away by the waves.

There is a story behind immersing Bathukammas in the water. A sister comes to brother’s house to visit him. The brother leaves to the town on some work, just before she comes. The sister decides to stay until her brother comes home. She goes to the lake to bathe along with her sister-in-law. Their clothes on the bank of the river get mixed up. The sister ties the saree of her sister-in-law and vice versa. They have a fight and the sister-in-law throws the sister in the river. In the night, the sister comes in the brother’s dream and tells him the sordid story of her death. Her brother goes to the river, and on the bank, he sees a tangedu plant. His sister says, ‘I became the tangedu plant after sister-in-law threw me into the water. Make Bathukamma with tangedu poolu and throw it into the river’ and her brother does as he is told and the Bathukammas are immersed in water to this day.

What I love about Bathukamma is the celebration of feminity on a grand scale. All the women are dressed in their traditional attire, in sparkling zari sarees, pattulangas or chudidhars. (My hubby jokes that it is one day of the year, he sees me in a sari). Women bedeck themselves from head to toe. Women wear garlands of jasmine flowers in the hair, gold necklaces, and rows of multi-colored bangles on the wrists, mehendi on hands and anklets on the feet. They carry bathkammas to the nearby temple and dance around the Bathukamma in circles and clap their hands. Later the Bathukammas are placed in a waterbody.

 

The velvet flower, also called as Sita jada kucchu
Gunugu flowers, tied into small bunches, and their pointy edges removed
Marigold flowers, pierced with short sticks so that they will withstand without collapsing in the Bathukamma formation
Bangari Bathukamma
Women dressed in their best attire and walking towards Padmakshi temple, Hanumakonda
The street was flooded with women of all ages and sizes
The expressions of the women in this photograph have a lot of depth. Needless to say that they are looking at me.
Janasamudram (An ocean of people)
The biggest Bathukamma I have seen
Women dancing around the Bathukammas and clapping their hands
 
Bathukamma Photographs Courtesy: Pradeep Kumar Gouda
 
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This entry was posted in: Life

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This blog is my time capsule, which allows me to travel back in time. Twenty years from now, I want to scroll down my blog list, pick a random blog and be amused by the post. If we have time machines in 2034, then I can type in the exact day of the blog and press the magic button, to transport me to those 'good old days'. That is the grand plan. Psst..don't let out this little secret of ours.

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