|Observed by||Hindu women of Telangana|
|Type||Spring festival of Goddess Gauri|
Batukamma is a spring festival celebrated by the Hindu women of Telangana region in Andhra Pradesh, India. It is also called as Bodemma. This festival falls in the months of September/October called as Aswiyuja and concludes two days before Dussera called as Durgashtami.
Batukamma is a beautiful flower stack, arranged with seasonal flowers, in seven concentric layers, of potter’s clay like a cone. Batuku in Telugu means live/life, and Amma means mother, hence Batukamma, is celebrated for the glory of Gauri goddess (meaning fair or white) - the patron Goddess of womanhood.
On this day the men folk of the house go into the wild plains and gather the flowers like gunuka , tangedi, lotus, alli, katla, teku flowers, Which bloom in this season in various vibrant colors all across the uncultivated and barren plains of the region.
Women start preparation of batukamma from the afternoon. They cut the flowers leaving the little length base, some dip in colours, some scented and arrange them on a wide plate called as tambalamu, and stack them up in a conical mound, decorate with a pumpkin flower on top of stack.
In the evening, women gather in large numbers with their batukammas in their locality, place them in the middle and dance around them, synchronizing steps and claps in unison, and singing soul stirring batukamma folk songs.
After singing and dancing around for hours, Batukammas are taken to a lake or a pond and spend some more time singing and dancing and are set afloat in the water body.
This festival is celebrated for nine days and concludes on Durgastami. The main festival day is called Saddula Batukamma. On this day they celebrate into wee hours before leaving their Batukamma in water. Lakes floating with batukammas in the evenings is a treat to the eyes.
Maleeda, a prasadam made of jaggery, is prepared on this day and distributed at the end of the event. People wishing to watch Bathukamma festival being celebrated in its true sense and full glory must visit Warangal on its last day i.e 2 days before festival of Dussehra. Only Women are allowed and male companions must wait outside the festival grounds.
Once upon a time King Dharmangada of Chola Dynasty used to rule South India. After many prayers and rituals, his wife gave birth to Goddess Lakshmi. Baby Lakshmi survived many accidents. So, the parents named her Batukamma (Batuku = life, Amma= suffix to female names and mother). Since then Batukamma festival is celebrated by young girls in Telangana region. The purpose of this festival is to pray to the Goddess in the belief that the young girls would get husbands as per their wish. It is celebrated for nine days beginning from the Padyami (first day) of the month Asvayuja (September-October). Flowers are arranged on a plate or square wooden plank or a square bamboo frame in a conical layout. On the top, gynecium of a pumpkin flower or a cone made of turmeric to represent Batukamma is installed. This floral arrangement is worshipped as Goddess Batukamma. This festival is mainly celebrated by unmarried young girls, though men and women also participate in collecting and arranging the flowers as Batukamma.