Hyderabad: The Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao offered prayers during Bonalu festival at Sri Ujjaini Mahankali Temple in Secunderabad here on Sunday afternoon.
The temple priests along with Animal Husbandry Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav and others welcomed the Chief Minister.
Earlier, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, G. Kishan Reddy also offered prayers at the temple.
The annual Bonalu festivities commenced at the historic Sri Ujjaini Mahankali temple on a colourful note amidst tight security.
Women clad in pattu saris stood in queues since early hours to offer ‘bonam’ made up of cooked rice and laced with curd and jaggery in an earthen pot decorated with turmeric and vermilion, and ‘neem’ leaves to the Goddess Mahankali.
Thousands of devotees stood in long queues for more than an hour to have darshan of the Goddess.
The city police made elaborate security arrangements for smooth conduct of the two-day festival. Barricades were placed at the main arch of the temple to restrict entry of other persons and maintain proper queues.
Surveillance cameras were installed at the temple and adjoining areas to keep a tab on those moving suspiciously.
Devotees were allowed only after checking them thoroughly with door frame and hand-held metal detectors. A bomb disposal squad was also pressed into service to check suspicious objects, if any, near the temple.
More number of women constables were deployed to assist the devotees arriving at the temple.
The lanes and by-lanes in Secunderabad and its surroundings wore a festive atmosphere with the temples of Goddess Sri Mahankali, Sri Peddamma, Sri Nalla Pochamma, Sri Yellamma, Sri Muthyalamma and Sri Maisamma decorated with flowers and illuminated with colorful LED lights.