HYDERABAD: The whole of Secunderabad wore a festive look as thousands of devotees thronged the famous Sri Ujjaini Mahankali Temple and several other Mahankali temples in Secunderabad on Sunday to offer prayers to Goddess Mahankali on the occasion of Bonalu festival, an important state festival of Telangana.
‘Pothrajus’ with smeared faces carrying whips and ‘ghatams’, accompanied by ‘teen maar’’ drumbeats reverberated in every lane in Secunderabad. The temples were decked-up with special illumination buntings and festoons.
Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao visited Sri Ujjaini Mahankali temple in Secunderabad on Sunday and offered prayers and presented pattu vastralu to the Goddess on behalf of the State government.
The Hyderabad city police made foolproof security arrangements. About 2,000 police personnel were deployed to maintain law and order. Over 200 CCTVs were installed for surveillance, and 25 SHE teams were deployed. About four to five lakh devotees offered prayers.
The Telangana government had accorded the status of ‘state festival’ to Bonalu after the formation of the state in June 2014. Devotees thronged different Mahankali temples in Marredpally, Sitafalmandi, Chilkalguda, Ramgopalpet, Pan Bazar, Mettuguda, Bhoiguda, YMCA, RP Road, MG Road, Paradise and Ranigunj.
Union Minister of State for Home, G Kishen Reddy, Deputy Speaker, T Padma Rao, Ministers T Srinivas Yadav, Indrakaran Reddy, V Srinivas Goud, Ch Malla Reddy, former Deputy Speaker, Padma Devender Reddy, Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS) chief M Kodandaram, several MPs, MLAs and MLCs, and other dignitaries were among those who offered prayers at Ujjaini Mahankali temple.
Bonalu is an important Telangana festival held in the month of Ashadam. The festival is celebrated to ward-off evil and usher in peace and harmony.
Kavitha prays for people Former Nizamabad MP, Kalvakuntla Kavitha, daughter of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao today offered prayers at Ujjaini Mahankali temple in Secunderabad on the occasion of the Bonalu. Escorted by Minister for Animal Husbandry, T Srinivas Yadav she carried Bonalu and offered the same to the Goddess. Speaking on the occasion, Kavitha said that she prayed for the well-being of the State and the people and extended greetings to all. The former MP said that with the divine blessings of the Goddess, Telangana will flourish.
Rangam on Monday
The festival will conclude on July 22, Monday with Rangam (foretelling the future for the next year) followed by a procession of Mahankali Goddess on an elephant in localities surrounding the temple.
The festival in rest of Hyderabad city will be held on July 28 and Rangam on July 29 followed by ghatam from Akkanna Madanna Temple which will culminate near River Musi at Chaderghat.