Batukamma festival is celebrated in Telangana during September-October.
Legend: 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.

Every evening, girls residing in the neighborhood assemble at one place; usually someone's home or nearby temple or a lake or a river. In some districts, earthen idol, called Boddemma, is carved and consecrated in the home or at a place in the village. Girls dance around Boddemma and Batukammalu and sing songs of Batukamma. After the play and prayer, these Batukammalu are left at the temple or immersed in the lake or river. This continues for nine days with every evening concluding as a social meet. On the final day, everyone in the town goes to the nearest river or lake, where the most beautiful and largest floral Batukammalu are brought and floated.  The scene looks picturesque with flowers of different colors floating on the water. Children, women and especially young girls in large numbers participate in the festival.  In Khammam, police used to have elaborate arrangements for this festival to prevent any untoward incidents on the final day on the banks of river Muneru.


In Andhra, these nine days are celebrated in a different way, called Navaratri. Navaratri is also celebrated in Telangana in addition to Batukamma.  Dasara or Vijayadashmi  is celebrated on the tenth day, which follows nine days of Batukamma and  Navaratri.  Dasara festival represents the victory of good over evil.

Legend:  Gods were unhappy because of powers and actions of two demons, Sumbha and Nisumbha. They solicited the advice of sage Medha. She told them that only Devi Mahamaya (Goddess of great magic, Durga) could rescue them from the demons. The gods combined their spiritual strength and gave to the mighty Goddess Durga.  Durga went to demon kingdom in the form of a beautiful woman. Bewitched by her beauty, the demons proposed to her. She agreed on the condition that they would have to defeat her in war.  Not knowing the strentgth of the beautiful Goddess, the demons accepted the challenge and were killed in the war.

Different rituals are followed during these ten days, the most important being that of Durgastami ( 8th day), Navami or Maharnavami (9th day) and on the final day - Dasami, the Goddess is taken out in procession and immersed in a lake, river, or well.

Jammi Puja

Telugus  also worship Jammi tree to celebrate the Pandavas victory. Pandavas stashed their astras (weapons) on the Jammi tree during their 13th year of exile. This bundle of weapons looked like a corpse and was guarded by a snake. The Pandavas retrieved them on the sacred Vijaya Dasami day. So, on this day Ayudha puja  (prayer to tools or weapons) is performed. (Tools, books, vehicles and appliances etc. are worshipped).  People go to Jammi tree on this day and recite the following sloka and also write it on a piece of paper and attach it to the tree:

            Samee samayate paapam
            Samee satruvinasanam
            Arjunasya dhanurdhari
            Ramasya priyadarsini

Some households display Bommala Koluvu (arrangement of toys and dolls). On this occasion women and children visit  their friends and relatives in their new clothes. The festival lasts for ten days, beginning on the first day of the month of Aswayuja.

            Batukamma Song:

            Batukamma Batukamma, Uyyaalo! (Batukamma Batukamma!)
            Bangaru Batukamma, Uyyaalo! (Golden Batukamma!)
            Naa Noamu Pandindi, Uyyaalo! (My ritual came to fruition!)
            Nee Noamu Pandindaa, Uyyalo? (Did your ritual come to fruition?)
            Maavaaru Vachchiri, Uyyalo! (I got my husband!)
            Meevaaru Vachcharaa, Uyyalo? (Did you get your husband?)

1. Personal Experience.
2. "Telugu Vaari Jaanapada Kalaaroopaalu," Dr. Radhakrishnamurty Mikkilineni
6. History of Mother Goddess:
Best wishes and seasons greetings.
Sreenivasarao Vepachedu, 10/18/1999

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