HYDERABAD:All Mahankali temples across the city are gearing up for Bonalu festivities to be held on Sunday and Monday.
Bonalu, which has been declared a state festival last year by the state government, will be celebrated on a largescale in the entire Greater Hyderabad on Sunday. It is expected that around 10 to 15 lakh devotees would participate in the festivities this year by offering prayers to Goddess Mahankali.
The main attraction of the festivities will be witnessed mainly at Lal Darwaza Mahankali Temple, the historic Akkanna Madanna Mahankali temple, Hari Bowli in Shah-Ali-Banda and Golconda. These temples will witness huge turnout, including cabinet ministers, MPs, MLAs, senior officials and political leaders.
GHMC, TSSPDCL, HMWS&SB, police and other departments are making necessary arrangements for the devotees visiting the temples like proper drinking water, sanitation, roads and uninterrupted power supply during the annual fete, which is conducted in the Telugu month of Aashadam every year.
Bonalu festivities will conclude on Monday with the oracle prediction, ie, Rangam at Akkanna Madanna temple followed by a combined procession on a caparisoned elephant, carrying ‘Ghatam’ of the Goddess Mahankali.
The procession will start at 2.30 pm from Sri Akkanna Madanna Mahankali temple at Haribowli and will pass through the main thoroughfares of Bela, Sudha Talkies, Nehru statue, Lal Darwaza crossroads, Shah-Ali- Banda, Charminar, Madina, Pathergatti and reaches Delhi Darwaza Matha Temple near Musi River in Nayapul where the ghatam will be immersed on the banks of the Musi in the evening.
The procession would be inaugurated by state government advisor KV Ramana Chary and Hyderabad police commissioner M Mahender Reddy would be the chief guest.
The festival is celebrated to ward off evil and usher in peace. It was first celebrated over 150 years ago following a major cholera outbreak. People believed that the epidemic was due to the anger of Mahankali and began offering ‘bonalu’ to her.
3,000 Cops Deployed for Festival
In view of Mahankali Bonalu celebrations, the South Zone police have made elaborate arrangements covering all important temples and the route through which the processions is taken out. More than 3,000 police personnel including CRPF, RAF and TSSP have been deployed to prevent untoward incidents. Two Additional CPs, three joint CPs, one DCP, ten Additional DCPs, 20 ACPs, 70 Inspectors, 180 Sub Inspectyors, Home guards, 2,000 police constables and 175 woman constables have been deployed to ensure smooth conduct of the festival. As many as 30 CCTV cameras have been installed.