Women bid farewell to Bathukamma – a grand finale of the festival of flowers

HANAMKONDA: It is a grand procession of women in their attire best carrying colourful flowers. The glitter and glamour are everywhere to see. They filled all the roads leading to the temples.
They made a beeline in slow motion to the historic Padmakshi temple, Thousand Pillar temple, Bhadrakali temple and others in the town.

Lakhs of women dressed up in colours filled every inch of the roads leading to temples. An equal number of young and old men turned up to witness the grand finale of the nine-day Bathukamma festival, the pride of Telangana.

The women carrying huge Bathukamma–flowers arranged in cone shape, a symbol of Goddess Gauri Devi proceeded towards the water bodies at the temples to immerse them after paying final tributes. They came at their best. The women, particularly the bashful young girls sported the long-forgotten traditional dress – ‘langa, voni’ and also the ornaments such as anklets, armlets, braids, girdles and whatnot. The women vied with each other with long plaits beautifully coiled and decorated with flowers and stone studded nose rings, shining sarees – typical of Telangana women’s gait on the final day of the festival.

For a while, all the beauty and bounty, glitz and glamour of the town was flowing on roads and thousands of men remained stunned onlookers as the women gracefully moved and ornaments flashed under neon and sodium vapour lamps.

With women delicately balancing their respective huge Bathukamma flowers on their hands praying for the well-being of their life partners. And young girls too took part, in anticipation of suitable alliances. It was really a celebration of life-force. For the thousands of men who gathered on either side of the roads, it was a treat to watch!

The police cordoned off the roads for vehicles and men earmarking the lanes, bylanes and main thoroughfares to just women who came to sing and dance to bid farewell to Bathukamma. Bathukamma festival is one event that comes to mind the moment one thinks of Warangal. Because, in the entire Telangana region, it is where the festival is celebrated on a grand scale.

By Gollapudi Srinivasa Rao