Monday, October 29, 2012

PROCEDURE TO ARRANGE BATHUKAMMA:

I recently received an encouraging email from a follower of my blog requesting me to ask my wife to reply to her on the procedure to arrange Bathukamma. My wife sent the following procedure to her this morning and I am posting it to my blog with the hope that few others would be benefitted by this information.

PROCEDURE TO ARRANGE BATHUKAMMA:

To understand clearly the procedure of arranging Bathukamma, please refer to the above figure constantly. I have explained ‘Bathukamma Paerchadam’ (arranging of Bathukamma) as per the procedure we have been following in our family since generations. If any of the flowers specifically mentioned below; like ‘Gummadi Puvvu’ (Pumpkin flower), ‘Thangedu’ and ‘Gunugu Puvvulu’ (flowers) and ‘Gummadi Aakulu’ (leaves of a Pumpkin plant) are not available; you may arrange Bathukamma with whichever flowers you can procure.

1)     Depending on the size of Bathukamma you want to arrange, you will have to procure suitable quantity and types of flowers.

2)     Pick up a suitable round steel or a brass plate with a small edge. The Bathukamma in the above picture is arranged on a 12 inch plate. For first attempt, you can arrange Bathukamma on an 8 inch plate or even a smaller one.

3)     Lay two pieces of thread on the plate perpendicular to one another and passing over the centre of the plate. These threads should be long enough, so that after arranging the entire Bathukamma in a conical pattern, these threads are drawn upwards and tied at the top to hold the Bathukamma intact.

4)     Over the plate and the threads; place a ‘Vistharaku’ (a plate made out of leaves). And trim the edges of the ‘Vistharaku’ to match the circular base of the metal plate.

5)     Spread a thin layer of Pumpkin leaves over the ‘Vistharaku’.

6)      Arrange one layer of ‘Thangedu Puvvulu’ (Thangedu flowers). These tiny yellow flowers with green buds and leaves and long stems are available at the time of Bathukamma festival.

7)     The next layer of flowers is with ‘Gunugu Puvvulu’. ‘Gunugu’ flowers with long stems running almost up to the centre of the plate are now arranged radially. You can arrange the row of ‘Gunugu’ flowers to any reasonable width taking care that the layer is gradually tapering to finally give a conical shape to Bathukamma. The protruding parts of the ‘Gunugu Puvvulu’ can be trimmed.

8)     The hollow that is forming at the centre as you are radially arranging the flowers can be filled with Pumpkin leaves, or any other leaves or loose flowers.

9)     Subsequent top layers / rows may be arranged with any colourful flowers like yellow and orange ‘Banthi Puvvulu’ (Marigold flowers), ‘Chamanthi Puvvulu’ (Chrysanthemum flowers) and any other colourful flowers and even with some artificially coloured flowers specially made available for Bathukamma festival. If the flowers do not have stems or the stems are not strong enough, pieces of broom sticks are inserted into the flowers to act as stems and help in arranging and holding the flowers together.

10) At the very top, a Pumpkin flower is placed.

11) Finally the loose ends of the two threads placed over the bottom plate and under the ‘Vistharaku’ are drawn up and tied at the top to hold the ‘Vistharaku’ and the flowers arranged over it (Bathukamma) in position.

Towards the end of Bathukamma celebrations, Bathukamma is given a traditional farewell (‘Saaganampadam’) by placing Bathukamma over a water body – a river or lake. Bathukamma is placed over the surface of water and the plate on which it is arranged is cautiously taken out. Our colourful Bathukamma now standing on the ‘Vistharaku’ can be seen graciously floating. Watching hundreds of families dressed in their best attire and happily playing colourful Bathukammas of different sizes along the shore and then seeing countless Bathukammas floating and dancing with the waves in the lake or river is a very grand and happy sight, beyond my description. 

P.S. You may read more Photo and Video-articles by me on Bathukamma Festival by clicking on the following links.
Bathukamma Shubakankshalu!- 2014.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Eleventh Meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP 11), Hyderabad.


Bathukamma Panduga – 2012! Is on coming Monday; 22nd October!


Bathukamma Panduga! – A unique and popular festival of Telangana region, celebrated with great enthusiasm, devotion and gaiety by its people here and all over the world; is on 22nd October 2012, coming Monday!!
You may click on the following link to read about the festival:
For more Bathukamma Panduga photos of our family and a video; you may click on the following link:

Monday, October 15, 2012

Today is Pettara / Peddala / Pitru Amavasya – Another important day to pay homage to our ancestors.


Today is Peddala Amavasya, more popularly known as Pettara Amavasya in Telangana, Pitru Amavasya in North India, and as Mahalaya Amavasya in West Bengal. It is a very significant day throughout the country, ancestors, departed parents and family members are remembered and worshipped, their blessings are sought and religious and traditional food offerings made to them.
Amavasya is New Moon Day. And Peddala Amavasya; that is today, is the New Moon Day of Bhadrapada Masam that is the last day of the Hindu lunar month called Bhadrapada.
The above photographs of me, waist deep in the Ganges at Haridwar, are of a ritual called Tharpanam. On this day, people go to holy rivers like Godavari and Krishna in Telangana State and Andhra Pradesh and the Ganges in the North and perform rituals for the departed family members and bathe in the holy river. Tharpanam is the offering of water to the departed.   

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Retort – Against someone humiliating “Indians Against Corruption” as “Mango People”:

Call us ‘Mango People’ or by whatever name
your greedy and criminal brain may think of...

Thousands of powerful thugs may be on your side
but ultimately TRUTH SHALL TRIUMPH!

And you, your associates and followers
shall eat dust, but never Mangoes.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

How dare anyone call Robert Vadra! Son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi! Mean.

Mera Bharat Mahan!
Mera politicians mahan!
Politicians ke relatives mahan!
Their businesses mahan!
Their overnight Crores mahan!
Sonia Gandhi mahan!
Rahul Gandhi mahan!
Priyanka Gandhi/Vadra? mahan!
How dare anyone call Robert Vadra mean?
Party workers protect all these mahan!
Mera Bharat Mahan!
– N. Raghu.


P.S. With Lady Luck in Robert Vadra’s favour, he will steer clear of all problems and may soon become the greatest real estate businessman in all States (Congress ruled), start many more Companies and one day become the Chief Minister of some State or Prime Minister of our Country.
Generally people wish Lady Luck to be by their side but once in a while one gets to marry Lady Luck and thereafter he becomes a Superhuman in every aspect of life.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

HAPPY WORLD ANIMAL DAY!


Today, 4th October is “World Animal Day” – A special opportunity for anyone who loves animals:
To celebrate animal life in all its forms.
To celebrate humankind’s relationship with the animal kingdom.
To acknowledge the diverse roles that animals play in our lives – from being our companions, supporting and helping us, to bringing a sense of wonder into our lives.
To acknowledge and be thankful for the way in which animals enrich our lives.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Sacred and Splendid Shrine: Divya Saketham Temple, Sriramanagar.


The attached photographs are of Divya Saketham, a very sacred and magnificent Temple at Sriramanagar, located 45 Kms. from our house in Secunderabad (Driving instructions are at the bottom of this article). It is beautiful and I hope its magnificence can be seen though partially from the attached photographs. And coming to the sacredness of the Temple it has been built with the blessings and under the guidance of Sri Tridandi Srimannarayana Ramanuja Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji – the idols are made up of Salagramas collected  from several holy places, soil from 108 places of pilgrimage and Tulasi picked from 106 Punya Kshethras and consecrated here, at Divya Saketham. Divya means divine and Saketham means the abode of Vishnu – Vaikuntam or heaven. Circumambulation / Pradakshina of this Temple is said to be equivalent to performing Pradakshina of 108 Divya Desas that is sacred places.
All Temples are sacred, important and powerful but some standout as popular places of pilgrimage because of the history of the Temple, the great devotion of the priests, management and the visiting devotees. Divya Saketham was consecrated in May 2009 during Jeeyar Sathabdhi that is the birth centenary of His Holiness Sri Pedda Jeeyar Swamiji, a saint, social reformer and divine Guru of multitudes and Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji.
The Temple has three levels. Lord Maha Vishnu appears in three different forms at the three levels:
The main temple is at first level; here Lord Vishnu appears as Sri Kodanda Rama Swamy along with his consort Sri Sita Devi and brother Lakshmana Swamy with Anjaneya Swamy in front and at farther end of the Temple.
At the second level; the Lord appears as Sri Ranganatha Swamy in a reclining posture and with his consorts Sri Lakshmi Devi and Sri Godha Devi. The deity of Lord Sri Ranganatha Swamy is blue in colour, constituted with Salagramas collected from various Divya Desas. Worshipping Sri Ranganatha Swamy here is equivalent to worshipping at all Divya Desas / holy places.
And the third level Temple is designed as Vaikuntam; the abode of Lord Maha Vishnu. The Lord appears here in a thousand pillared Mandapam / Pavillion as Vaikuntanatha and Paramapadam along with his consorts Sri Sridevi, Sri Bhoodevi and Sri Neela Devi and along with a number of his devotees.
Adjacent to the Temple there is Sri Kuteeram (Swamiji’s Ashramam), a Yagashala and Goshala.
Divya Saketham Temple is located in the 53 acre JIVA – Jeeyar Integrated Vedic Academy. JIVA runs institutions like JIVA Gurukulam (Vedic education), JIVA Community College, Netra Vidyalaya – a School and Junior College for the blind and so on. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, Divya Saketham is located exactly 45 Kms. from our house in Secunderabad. It is beyond Shamshabad - Hyderabad Airport. You will have to travel on NH 44 – Bangalore Highway up to Madanapally Village and take a left turn there through a Temple arch and travel 2 Kms. along Muchintal Road to reach Divya Saketham and JIVA Academy. There is a busy highway just before and between the Temple and Muchintal Road, so one should concentrate on the road and driving, and cross over to the Temple carefully.
You may see a video of the Temple and JIVA Academy by clicking on the following YouTube link:

Wish You All A Very Happy Deepavali / Diwali.

Dear All, Wish you all a very Happy Deepavali. May the year ahead and times ahead bring you immense happiness & prosperity....