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.
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.
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, 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: http://www.the-south-asian.com/Sakti%20-%20Mother%20Goddess.htm
Best wishes and seasons greetings.
Sreenivasarao Vepachedu, 10/18/1999
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