Bathukamma Festival in Houston a Grand Success

TAGH 1in

HOUSTON:  Bathukamma, “flowerful” festival of Dassera, was celebrated by record crowds at Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple on October 17. This year’s festivities, organized by the Telangana Association of Greater Houston (TAGH) Bathukamma committee, attracted over 2,000 people.  The TAGH, a USA registered non-profit organization, was formed last year by the Telangana Non Resident Indians in greater Houston area, to preserve the cultural identity and contribute to its development.

Bathukamma, the state festival of Telangana, has gained widespread prominence among Telugu people because of their sociocultural and religious importance.  Bathuku in Telugu means life and amma means mother. This celebration of life festival honors Goddess Gauri, the life giver, for societal prosperity and good wishes. The festival begins on the 1st day of Aswayuja (Ashwin) and ends on 9th day – Durgashtami.  Families come together and prepare Bathukamma – a beautiful flower stack, arranged with seasonal flowers on a plate like base, in several concentric layers, of potter’s clay like a cone. The popular flowers used in the preparation of bathukamma include Gunugu, Tangedu, Lotus, Alli, Katla, Teku, and other local blooming flowers.

This year over 100 Bathukammas were specially made for the occasion by the participating families. This is an arduous task as it requires time and effort to prepare Bathukammas and to transport it to the large stage exclusively made for the occasion at Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple. Houstonians showcased their passion and creativity for the event with their colorful Bathukammas; some were small and cute while others were large and impressive.  The event festivities started with families bringing Bathukammas to the temple.  Organizers made arrangements to take family portraits by a professional photographer for each family with their Bathukamma. All participants also received a gift as a token of appreciation.

TAGH 2in

The center stage was decorated with flowers and other puja items for Goddess Gauri, the life giver. The Bathukammas were placed on the stage around Goddess Gauri.  This stage became the center of the festivities for the evening. The event started at 6:30 pm with a Gauri puja by the resident priest of the Sri Ashtalakshmi temple, by invoking Goddess Gauri, the life giver, for societal prosperity and good wishes. People gathered around the Bathukamma stage to participate in this community event to receive the blessing of Goddess Gauri.

The festivities picked up gear with pre-recorded Bathukamma songs. All women and girls in colorful and festive sarees and dresses danced as a group around the Bathukammas supported by men cheering. As the evening progressed, the circular group dances expanded with synchronized dancing with hand claps. These dances are similar to Garba dances which are performed during the Navaratri festival but have a typical southern flavor and style. The songs praised Goddess Gauri¸ patron Goddess of womanhood while describing stories of common woman, their dreams and aspirations.  The festive songs and lively comments energized the participants over two hours.

Hon. Consul General Sri Harish Parvathaneni¸ the special guest for the evening, expressed his appreciation to the participating families and organizers for maintaining Indian culture and heritage.  The event chairs, Veerender Reddy and Anita Devireddy, thanked the volunteers and team leads for various activities ranging from food to stage set-up. The organizing committee thanked individual donors and participants that contributed immensely to the grand success of this free event. Finally, nimajjanam (water immersion of the Bathukammas) was done at a specially arranged pool at Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple. The evening ended with traditional Mahaprasadam (dinner). It was a delicious ending for a great outdoor event! This is the sixth year in a row that Houston successfully celebrated Bathukamma Sambaralu!

The TAGH is reaching out to the community for organizing such wonderful events and festivals. They are actively seeking support and memberships.

For further details email at  or visit