Festive Air as Women Throng Secunderabad Bonalu Fest

An air of festivity swept through the streets of Secunderabad as thousands of devotees thronged the streets to celebrate Bonalu at the Sri Ujjaini Mahankali temple. Devotees prayed and offered bonams at other Mahankali temples in the city on the occasion of Secunderabad Mahankali Bonalu Jatara, popularly known as Lashkar Bonalu.

The ‘Rangam’ (forecasting the future) will be made by a young unmarried woman at 8.30 a.m. on Monday.

The colourful Bonalu festival started from early hours of Sunday with a large number of devotees, especially women and young girls gaily dressed in traditional attire carrying ‘Bonam’ (pot containing rice, turmeric powder, jaggery and curd covered with neem leaves with a lamp placed on it) on their heads to offer Goddess Mahankali. Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao along with his family members offered ‘pattu vastralu’ (silk clothes) and other items to Goddess Mahankali. Ministers T Srinivas Yadav, T Padma Rao, Nayini Narasimha Reddy, A Indrakaran Reddy, MPs, MLAs, MLCs, senior Government officials and others also offered prayers at the temple.

It is expected that over five lakh devotees would participate in Bonalu till Monday evening.

The lanes of Secunderabad were filled with procession of devotees carrying ghatams. Whip weilding ‘potharajus’ with ‘ghatams’ followed by ‘teen maar’ drumbeat reverberated in the lanes and bylanes of Secunderabad.

The Mahankali Temple was beautifully decked up for the festival with illumination, flower arrangements, buntings and festoons.

Apart from devotees of Secunderabad and Hyderabad, devotees from surrounding districts including Rangareddy, Medak and Nalgonda too thronged the temple and offered prayers. Separate queues were made for the convenience of devotees carrying bonalu, and handicapped and aged persons. The devotees also visited Mahankali temples located in Pan Bazar, Regimental Bazar, Ramgopalpet, Mettuguda, Bhoiguda, RP Road, Marredpally, Paradise, Ranigunj, YMCA, SD Road, Seethaphalmandi, Chilkaguda and other temples.

Several devotees offered a ‘thottela’ (a small colourful, paper structure supported by sticks). Police made elaborate security arrangements for smooth conduct of the festival.

source: The New Indian Express

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