Hyderabad: Thousands of devotee’s bee lined to the Ujjaini Mahankali temple in Secunderabad since early hours to perform the pooja with pomp and fervour.
Bonalu is an annual festival celebrated throughout the Telangana region, especially in the twin cities of Secunderabad and Hyderabad.
The ammavari darshanam will commence at 4 am on Sunday and will go on till 2 am the next day.
The Ujjaini Mahankali Temple Bonalu Jatara, also known as Lashkar Bonalu, is a grand event celebrated for two days in the Aashada Masam of the Telugu calendar.
Bonalu or Mahankali Bonalu Jatara is a thanks giving festival dedicated to Goddess Mahankali, who is also worshipped as Maisamma, Yellamma (Renuka Mata), Pochamma, Peddamma, Poleramma, Maramma, and Ankalamma.
‘Bonam’ means ‘Bojanaalu’ or ‘meal’ in Telugu, and is an offering to Mahankali. During the festival, women bring their offerings in clay pots decorated with colours, neem leaves and a diya on the top. They carry the pots on their head and proceed towards a Kali temple from their homes, and perform some special poojas to offer ‘bonam’ to the Goddess.
The offerings consist of cooked rice, jaggery, curd, water (known as Bonam) and other dishes which are brought in the pots and are given to the Goddesses in the temples. It is believed that the offerings ward off evils and epidemics during monsoon.
The Rangam will take place on Monday at 9.30 am and the procession with the Mahankali idol atop the decorated elephant will commence at 10.30 am.
The temple will be open till 11 pm on Monday to enable devotees who make their way to the city from various districts in Telangana.
In 1869, when plague hit the city of Hyderabad, people thought the epidemic was a result of the Goddess’ anger, and initiated the Bonalu festival to pacify the goddess.
The Bonalu procession is highly colorful and is accompanied thousands of people and includes Potharaju (a well built man) and people also depict various scenes from Puranas especially those associated with the Goddess Kali legend.(INN)