Bathakamma Home > Kerala > Culture In Kerala > Dance In Kerala > Bathakamma


Bathakamma or Bathukamma is a Hindu festival, a variation of the prominent Navratri festival, from the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. This festival is dedicated to Bathaktamma, literally meaning the “Goddess of Life”. The goddess is represented by a conical pyramid of fresh flowers that are arranged at the beginning of the festival and is worshiped for the length of festival (nine days) and is finally cast afloat in the local water bodies on the last day called the ‘Dasami’ (Tenth day).

On each day during the ten day stretch, married Hindu women gather around the flower arrangement (or the deity) and perform the Bathakamma dance for hours at stretch. This dance is a completely feminine matter and all the men that may have accompanied their wives or daughters, must remain outside ceremonial area, as their presence during the dances is strictly prohibited. The married women pray for a happy and prosperous life while the young unmarried women pray especially for a good spouse in the future.

Dance Form

The dance form of the Bathakamma takes its cue from the tribal and folk traditions of South India. Although not a strictly standard dance form, there is a traditional pattern as to how the dance is performed. As the women gather around the goddess Bathakamma (the flowers), the Puja (worshipping rituals) is carried out and only then the dances are performed.

All the women dressed in colorful Indian saris, arrange themselves in a circular formation, with the ‘Bathakamma’ at the centre they dance in unison with continuous circling. The rhythm is mainly kept by the clapping and singing of the dancers.

Musical Instruments

No musical instruments are used to accompany the Bathakamma dances. The dancing women are also singers. The songs that are sung are the regional folk songs, mainly from the state of Andhra Pradesh. These songs describe many scenes and anecdotes from the myth and legend of the goddess Bathakamma.


The Bathakamma festival and dance holds the utmost importance in the lives of the Hindu women in South India or from the Telangana region in Andhra Pradesh. This can be made evident from the fact that Bathaktamma festival is celebrated across the world by the South India Diaspora.

It is a firm belief of the Hindu women that the Bathakamma goddess (a form of Vishnu’s spouse – Goddess Laxmi) grants young women their wish of a good husband and to the married women a happy and prosperous family life.


The exact Bathakamma dance varies from household to household. Perhaps the only common variation is that of a separate dance that is performed by the women at the shores of a body of water, before they cast the flower arrangements afloat over the waters.

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