Warangal: Bathukamma, a nine-day festival of flowers, commenced here on a grand note in the Warangal city on Saturday. Women and young girls attired in their best were seen playing around the ‘Bathukammas’, the cone shaped flower stack, at street corners and temples in the city.
Since the State government declared it as State festival, Tourism Minister Srinivas Goud formally launched the festivities at the historic Thousand Pillar temple in the city.
Ministers Satyavathi Rathod and Errabelli Dayakar Rao, Government chief whip D Vinay Bhaskar, MLA N Narender and several public representatives have attended the inaugural programme. They were given warm reception by the women and the Oggu artists at the temple.
Speaking on the occasion, Srinivas Goud said that Bathukamma is a unique tribute to the nature. “We adorn the flowers and offer puja to them. Nowhere in the world, prayers are offered to the flowers. Though Bathukamma festival was started in Warangal long back, it is now being celebrated in many parts of the world,” he added.
He also said that the credit of giving sarees to the women goes to the TRS government. The Sircilla weavers specially designed and weaved the sarees for the women in view of the Bathukamma festival. “The blessings of the women must be there for the State government,” he added. He, however, alleged that the Bathukamma festivities were looked down upon by the Andhra rulers during the existence of the united State.
The celebrations go on for nine days and conclude a day before the Dasara festival. On all these days, women gather in evening hours in their respective street corners and temples all over to sing and dance in rhythm in praise of Goddess Gauri Devi.
Meanwhile, the historic Thousand Pillar, Bhadrakali and Padmakshi temples were beautifully lit up and spruced up for the occasion. Special religious and cultural programmes were planned as part of Navaratri celebrations.
‘Ankurarpna’ for the Navaratri festivities and Bathukamma festivities have been begun at the Bhadrakali temple.
On the other hand, women, who received the Bathukamma sarees given by the government, expressed happiness and thanked Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao for giving them sarees as the elder brother to them.
Meanwhile, the city police have made elaborated security arrangements for the smooth conduct of the festival and streamlined the vehicular traffic by imposing the one-way traffic on some ways. Traffic curbs imposed on the way that lead to Thousand Pillar temple.
Adilabad streets spring to life
Adilabad: Streets of all the towns and villages reverberated with folk songs of Bathukamma as the nine-day floral festival, unique cultural affair of Telangana, began on a grand note on Saturday evening.
Dressed in the finest clothes, women from all walks of life arrived to the venues of the celebrations in every streets and important junctions, carrying the idols of Bathukamma, various colorful flowers stacked in conical shape. They danced to melodious folk songs clapping rhythmically and exchanged greetings of the festival.
Women gathered flowers from forest fringes and some of them bought from venders on roadside. They prepared the idols spending at least two hours. Venues of the festival were decorated with lamps and loud system was arranged for playing songs of Bathukamma. The streets and junctions came alive with celebrations of the floral festival.
The women perform special prayers to the deity when bidding colorful adieu to Bathukamma on the ninth day, titled Saddulu slated for October 6, by immersing the idols in local irrigation tanks, streams and available water bodies. They share eatables presented to the deity among their friends. Married women celebrate the festival by staying at their parents’ place, according to the tradition.