Batakamma is a special festival celebrated
with religious fervour in the Telangana region. Batakamma means 'immortal
woman'. It is a month long festival where Goddess Batakamma's idol is
worshipped and is made to float on the rivers
and lakes. Basically, this is a
floral festival. It falls on 'Asvija Shuddha Dasami' (September -October).
The Essence Of A Woman
This festival is celebrated to glorify womanhood and her celestial place in the family set up. During these days, Goddess 'Gauri' the patron Goddess of womanhood is worshipped by all the women folk with utmost devotion and piety.
There are many legends behind this festival. According to one legend they say that this festival is celebrated in memory of a 'Vaishya' married woman, who was killed by her own brother at the instigation of his wife. The murdered woman is believed to have manifested herself in her grave as a flowering tree.
The other being Batakamma, as the daughter of the 'Chola' King 'Dharmangada' and 'Satyavati'. The king and queen lost their 100 sons in the battlefield and prayed to Goddess Lakshmi to be born in their house, as their child. Goddess Lakshmi heard their sincere prayers and chose to oblige them. When Lakshmi was born in the royal palace, all the sages came to bless her and they blessed her with immortality "Batukamma or live forever".
According to another legend Goddess Gauri killed 'Mahishasura' the demon after a fierce fight. After this act, she went to sleep on the 'Aswayuja Padyami' day, due to fatigue. The devotees prayed to her to wake up, and she woke up on the Dasami (also spelt as "Dashmi) day.
Batakamma or 'Parvati', according to one legend, is a lover of flowers. Flowers are arranged on a square wooden plank or a square bamboo frame with the size of frames tapering off to form a pinnacle on top. They resemble the shape of a temple 'Gopura'. A lump of turmeric is kept on top of the flowers. This little floral mountain is worshipped as Goddess Batakamma.
Women mainly celebrate this festival, though men also participate in decorating and arranging the beautiful floral mounts of Batakamma. Young girls participate in large numbers.
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 too, flock to witness the happenings. 'Jataras' are also held during this month long celebrations.