Our country is a soup bowl of different cultures and traditions. Whether it is the Durga Puja in Bengal or the Garba of Gujarat, each place celebrates Dussehra differently. But if you want to explore one of the most unique cultures, then head to Telangana this festive season.
Bathukamma is a riot of colourful celebration, combining ethnic with tribal flavours. The highlights of this celebration are the flower decorations and myriad offerings of local cuisine, each unique to the nine days of the festival.
Bathukamma is mounds of flowers, each of different heights, that are taken out in procession on the nine days, beginning with Mahalaya. Women in bright silk sarees turn the procession into a scene similar to stargazing over the Milky Way in the night sky. It is truly an endearing sight to watch.
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Bathukamma literally means ‘Oh Mother! Live’. Here, the predominant Goddess is Parvati, the partner of Shiva in Hindu mythology. It is believed that when her father denied her permission to marry Shiva, she jumped into a fire and stayed there for nine days. The Bathukamma celebrations are in honour of her penance. Women in Telangana put flowers around a pot of fire to calm Parvati, and tell her to live on.
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The flowers are arranged by placing seven concentric circles of wood on top of each other to resemble a temple gopuram. These mounds often reach varying heights, making the celebration a sight you should not miss.
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Bathukamma is followed by Boddemma, a 7-day festival that marks the ending of monsoon and the advent of autumn. Interestingly, each day of Bathukamma is named after the type of food that is offered to the deity on that particular day.
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So, if you are a foodie, you must consider a trip to Hyderabad during Bathukamma. This festival is celebrated with joy and gaiety. During these celebrations, there are dance performances, music, dramas and a variety of entertainments as thousands of tourists and locals flock to witness the celebrations. ‘Jataras’ or local fairs are also held during this time.
So, if you want to explore a unique culture, then visit Telangana during Bathukamma.