The Bathukamma festival is widely celebrated across Telangana after the end of the monsoons before the festive season of Dussehra and Diwali . The 10-day festival starts on the closed moon day of the Bhadrapada month in Telugu calender. Goddess Gauri, also called Bathukamma, is worshipped in nine forms: Engili pula Bathukamma, Atkula Bathukamma, Muddapappu Bathukamma, Nanabiyyam Bathukamma, Atla Bathukamma, Aligina Bathukamma, Vepakayala Bathukamma, Vennamuddala Bathukamma, and Saddula Bathukamma during the festival, which is marked by flowers and colours. The festival is seen as a celebration of Telangana’s culture and is aimed at highlighting the local traditions.
During the floral festival of Bathukamma, the deity is prepared in the form of a conical-shaped floral arrangement using the pumpkin blossom (Gummadi Puvvu), the blooms/ Celosia (thangedu and gunugu puvvulu), marigold flowers (banthi puvvulu), Chrysanthemum flowers (Chamanthi Puvvulu), leaves of pumpkin etc. This year, the Telangana government roped in paramotoring experts to display the floral arrangement in the air across majority of Hyderabad.
According to the officials in the Department of Culture, Telangana, the Bathukamma will be seen floating in the air at a height of 300 metres on October 17,18 and 19. At four locations in the city -- Bison Polo Grounds, Parade Grounds, People’s Plaza and Telangana Kala Bharathi Grounds, the floating Bathukamma would be seen. The Telangana government had been facilitating the Bathukamma celebrations across Telangana with a budget of Rs 20 crore every year ever since the festival has been announced the official festival of the State.
How To Make Bathukamma
The blossoms and blooms, which are available during the later stages of monsoon, are a significant part of the floral arrangement. If the pumpkin blossoms, the blooms, celosia, marigold flowers etc. are available, the Bathukamma's foundation layer could be made using any kind of blooms. A round-shaped brass, steel or copper plate with a fine edge may be used for the foundation. Two pieces of thread with loose ends should be laid perpendicular to each other at the centre of the plate.
Now, a Vistharaaku (a plate made of leaves) should be placed on the plate covering its area. A layer of pumpkin leaves and thangedu puvvulu should be placed on top of the foundation. The Celosia flowers should then be arranged layer-by-layer so that the Bathukamma forms a conical shape while leaving a hollow at the centre and gradually trimming the protruding flakes of the flowers. After this, the Bathukamma may be decorated with bright flowers like the yellowish marigold flowers and the Chrysanthemum.
At the top of this conical arrangement, a pumpkin flower is placed. The loose thread ends in the bottom should now be tied up at the top of the arrangement so as to keep the Vistharaaku and the flowers intact.
The Bathukamma would be given a farewell in traditional manner by sending it on a water body or a nearby lake or river. The flowers, according to bio-scientists, would release herbal substances into the river which would help in cleansing of the water. The herbal medicines would help purify the river bodies and boost the river's ecosystem.