Saddula Bathukamma

bathukammaThe ninth day of Bathukamma is also the last day of the festival and is called Saddula Bathukamma.  On this day the Bathukamma is immersed into the water.

Conical creations of cow dung decorated with flowers is the Bathukamma, this is a folk art. The immersion is done with great devotion, accompanied by rhythmic drum beats throughout the state of Telangana.

The myth is that the Chola King Dharmangada had a wife after many years of being married. The girl child was believed to be the incarnate of Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity. The girl child survived many accidents, hence was called Life=Bathuku, and Amma= mother also used affectionately to address a female child.

The festival connects and celebrates nurturing. The girls are made aware of their own nurturing energy. There is of course the prayer to the goddess of health and wealth to bring prosperity to their families.

There are other legends and myths that are either around this. Some are adaptations of the mainstream religion. Like one that says it is the spirit of Parwati, since Parwati is the re-incarnation of Sati and Bathkuamma is the mother who came back to life.

Another popular myth is that the Goddess Gauri who is fatigued after her fierce war with mahishasura the demon, goes to sleep on the day after the new moon, and the celebrations are to awaken her, she awakens only on the day of Dashmi.

The variation to the Chola legend is that the Chola king Dharmangada and his wife Sathyavati lost 100 sons in a battle before the goddess incarnated in their house. the seers and sages who came to bless the child blessed her with immortality, ”Bathukamma or live forever.”

The Bathukamma is believed to be a lover of flowers, so flowers are arranged on a square wooden plank or bamboo frame of tapering  sizes to form a pinnacle on top. This resembles the shape of a temple or gopura, the symbolic idol of Gowrie in turmeric is placed on top of the flowers. This becomes the Bathukamma

Thambula set
Thambula set

For nine days this is worshiped and Nivedyam make of different dishes are offered. The general ingredients being corn, sorghum, bajra, black gram, Bengal gram, green gram, groundnuts, sesame, wheat, rice, cashew nut, jaggery, milk.

On the day of Saddula Bathukamma, Maleeda is prepared and distributed. Maleeda ( )is a combination of roti and jaggery.

In general there is lot of joy and gaiety that goes with this. Dance performances, music, drama and variety entertainment happens, Jataras or fairs are held during this month long celebration.

2 Replies to “Saddula Bathukamma”

  1. Your writing on “Saddula Batukamma” is not well researched. What you see on television is not the way we (I am from Telangana) celebrate.

    First thing first— Bathukamma is totally a floral decoration. Dung is not used at all. There are two parts of this festival—the only dung is used in the first part in which unmarried girls take part.

    Now, ‘A square peg in round hole’. The conical part with bamboo frame you were referring to is totally incorrect. It is just a nasty commercial representation of gullible tradesmen and politicians, of late.

    This is a festival to offer tributes to nature.

    Maleeda is nothing to do with the festival. Rural folks don’t even know that something like ‘cashew nuts’ do exist. This is basically a rural festival of song and dance. Even the dance is not so vibrant in the strict sense. No jataras –no other entertainment as you see it on the idiot box. I am very much pained to note and say that the writings such as yours misrepresent a true culture which is slowly being forgotten as well as misinform the readers.

    1. Thanks for the information, I am still researching and what I collected is over the research. my focus is a festival and ritual that honours nature. The information I got is from the Telangana art and culture section. Glad you took the trouble of sharing information. I am honoured by the contribution that you have made. You right it is an upward task trying to undo the harm created by the casual world of advertising.

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