Bathukamma – the super F-3 festival of Telangana

Incredible India – we are all proud of our incredible country which has a unique cultural diversity which has amazed the world over. There still are a lot of unknown festivals n cultural fervours which get organised in different parts of our rural areas.
Bathukamma is one of such festivals about which very little was known till now. Bathukamma is an embodiment of the spirit of Telangana. Telangana is the youngest state of our country and after the formation of the state – the hidden wonders and festivals are surfacing out. The festival is an important part of the cultural renaissance movement of Telangana and has now been accorded the State Festival status in the newly formed state.

When I got an invite for a media meet to celebrate Bathukamma, I was clueless. A little search on google and I got interested. Though I do not like attending meets at PHD Chamber of Commerce, but since flowers and natural flowers are my fascinations, so I went ahead to attend the meet. I was saddened to note that the actual display of flowers was going to be on the next day. It was only the formal media announcement time today by the Govt. of Telangana of the event christened F-3 carnival (Festival, Flowers and Females).

Bathukamma is literally a celebration of life. It is a unique tribute to nature, which starts with colourful flowers and culminates in a water body. It’s celebrated for nine days. Divine fervour, floral beauty and songs encompass the ritual spirit of Bathukamma in all the nine days of its celebrations. It is primarily a women’s festival. It begins on the day of Bhadrapada / Mahalaya Amavasya and concludes on Ashwayuja Ashtami, based on the lunar calendar.

The floral festival is a significant women based festival. The women folk normally get back to their parents’ homes from their in-laws and breathe the fresh air of freedom to celebrate the colours of flowers. For one whole week, they make small ‘Bathukammas’, play around them every evening and immerse them in a nearby water pond. On the last day, menfolk of the house go into the wild plains and gather the flowers. They bring home bagful of flowers and the entire household sits down to arrange them in stacks.

Bathukamma is a celebration of the inherent relationship human beings share with earth and water. During the entire preceding week, women make ‘boddemma’ (a deity of Gowri – mother Durga – made with earthly mud) along with Bathukamma and immerse it in the pond. This helps reinforce the ponds and helps it retain more water.

The flowers used in Bathukamma have a great quality of purifying water in ponds and tanks and flowers so immersed in abundance are environment friendly.

The festival heralds the beauty of nature, collective spirit of Telangana people, the indomitable spirit of women folk and also the ecological spirit of the agrarian people in preserving the natural resources in a festive way.

IMG_3715The Secretary, Department of Youth Advancement, Tourism, & Culture, Government of Telangana, Mr. B. Venkatesham addressed the media and talked about his state and the various tourist attractions and festivals of the state through a video presentation. He specifically talked about Bathukamma, and his close association and love for the festival was so evident.

This F-3 carnival was extended over two days and on the second day an event was organised for various Tour operators and actual floral replicas of what happens during the actual Bathukamma in Telangana.

So folks, sitting through the media meet, watching the videos on Telangana tourism has ignited the fire inside me to go out and explore the many attractions, learn about the culture and also about the various festivals of the state. Well I certainly am going to take off soon and explore a lot – ARE you gonna join me – or you want to go alone???

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