HYDERABAD: A festive atmosphere prevailed in new and old city of Hyderabad on Sunday as thousands of devotees thronged Mahankali temples and offered prayers on the occasion of Bonalu, an important festival of Telangana. Pulsating ‘Teen Maar’ drumbeats and Telugu folk songs reverberated from the lanes and bylanes of Hyderabad.
The Bonalu festival, which reflects Telangana’s rich culture and tradition, is celebrated to ward off evil and usher in peace and harmony. It was celebrated with traditional gaiety and fervour across the city. Serpentine queues were seen almost at Mahankali temples in the region.
The Lal Darwaza Mahankali Temple and the historic Akkanna Madanna Mahankali temple, Hari Bowli in Shah Ali Banda, the main centre of the Bonalu festivities in the Old City, witnessed a huge turnout of devotees, among whom were Central and State ministers, MPs, MLAs, officials and political leaders.
All Mahankali temples were decked up for the festival with special illuminated buntings and festoons. The lanes were filled with processions of devotees, who carried bonams and ghatams as the region reverberated with popular folk songs.
State ministers A Indrakaran Reddy and T Srinivas Yadav, on behalf of the State government, offered Pattu Vastralu (clothes) to Goddess Mahankali.
Minister of State (Home) G Kishan Reddy, Home Minister Md Mahmood Ali, badminton star PV Sindhu, TJS chief M Kodandaram, Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar, HMRL MD NVS Reddy, several MPs, MLAs and MLCs, as well as former ministers, offered prayers at different Manakali temples in the city.
The celebration of Bonalu began early in the morning with a large number of devotees, especially women, dressed in their traditional best, offering bonam (a pot with rice, turmeric powder, jaggery and curd, and covered with neem leaves and a lamp) on their heads to Goddess Mahankali at various temples in Hyderabad.
To end with Rangam at noon today
- The main festivities will conclude on Monday with the oracle prediction, ie, Rangam, at noon, officials said
- After this, a combined procession with a caparisoned elephant carrying the ghatam of Goddess Mahankali will be carried out
- After the procession, the ghatam will be immersed in the River Musi in the evening
- Among those who participated in the festivities on Sunday were Central and State ministers, MPs and MLAs
Akkanna Madanna Mahankali Mandir, Haribowli, president A Satish Kumar, patron, G Niranjan told Express that Bonalu will conclude on Monday with the oracle prediction, ie, Rangam, at noon, followed by a combined procession on a caparisoned elephant, Sudha, carrying the ghatam of Goddess Mahankali.
The procession will be taken out at 4 pm and will pass through the main thoroughfares of Shalibanda, Charminar and Nayapul.