Hyderabad: As cloudy and overcast conditions descended over Hyderabad, women dressed in traditional attire stepped out carrying colourful flowers, tastefully decorated in conical form, to celebrate Bathukamma, the floral festival of Telangana.
The nine-day festivities commenced on Wednesday and the overcast conditions were not a deterrent for the festivities, which commenced late in the evening at different colonies, residential apartments, community halls and municipal parks.
The lanes and bylanes were decked up with colourful lights and giant Bathukamma replicas were placed in the traffic islands at main junctions, adding a tinge of colour to the ambience of the city.
Singing Bathukamma folk songs and dancing in unison, the women offered prayers to Bathukammas and sought blessing from goddesses. On the inaugural day, the festivities continued till late in the evening and many colonies and apartments reverberated with the Bathukamma songs.
The lanes of Ram Nagar, Telephone Colony, Uppal and other areas were taken over by festive atmosphere. At Uppal stadium, the GHMC sanitary workers participated in the festivities and also thanked Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao for enhancing their wages.
After the recent rains, tanks and lakes in and around the city are full to the brim. Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is making elaborate arrangements at the temporary immersion ponds for the convenience of women.
In addition, five more ponds, including Pedda Cheruvu, Ibrahimbagh, Mundla Cheruvu, Moosapet, Pathi Kunta, Rajendra Nagar, Durgam Cheruvu and Nalla Cheruvu, Uppal are being planned in the second phase.
In tune with the festivities, a few hotels are conducting food festivals offering authentic and local cuisine. One such festival was conducted at Karampodi restaurant in Jubilee Hills.
U S Consul General Hyderabad Katherine B. Hadda participated in the Bathukamma festivities and joined the women and artists from the culture department, Government of Telangana in revolving around the Bathukammas .
Addressing on the occasion, Tourism Secretary B. Venkatesham said Bathukamma festival has the potential to become the biggest women festival in the world. “Our aim is to attract ten lakh foreign tourists into the State by the year 2022 to witness the festival,” he said.
Festive fervour across State
Nalgonda: The nine-day celebrations of Bathukamma festival started off on grand note with women playing Engligi Bathukamma on Wednesday across the district.
The women, attired in traditional sarees and half sarees, played Bathukamma near temples and main centres along Bathukamma replicas made with colourful flowers. All the venues reverberated with festive songs.
In Nalgonda, women with colourful Bathukammas took part in the celebrations at Ramgiri Ramalayam, Agricultural Market Yard and NG College Ground. Women cops also played Engili Bathukamma at the SP’s residence.
In Suryapet, Minister for Power and SC Development G Jagadish Reddy’s wife Gunthakanda Sunitha also played Bathukamma with other women. The festival was celebrated in a similar manner in Yadadri-Bhongir too.