Hyderabad: The temples of various goddesses in twin cities are being spruced up to celebrate the colourful Bonalu Festival from July 15. On its part, the authorities have literally pulled out all the stops to ensure the festival is celebrated across the Capital on a grand scale.
A preparatory meeting was conducted on Thursday by Endowments Minister, Allola Indrakaran Reddy and Principal Secretary N Siva Shankar with the Executive Officers of all the temples from the city to discuss on the steps to be taken to organise the festival in a befitting way.
The festival, which is known as ‘Ashadam Jatara’ will commence from July 15 at Sri Jagadamba Mahankali Temple atop the historic Golconda fort.
Like every year, the major attraction of the festivities will be at the historic Sri Ujjaini Mahankali Temple in Secunderabad on July 29 and 30. Temple officials are leaving no stone unturned in making the festival a grand success. “We have already spruced up the temple and arrangements are progressing on at a brisk pace,” said Temple Executive Officer S. Annapurna.
One of the notable features of the Bonalu this time is that the festival will be conducted on the same days as happened 63 years ago. Using 3.80 kgs gold, the department is making a gold ‘bonam’ in which cooked rice laced with jaggery and curd will be offered to the Goddess Sri Mahankali during ‘bonalu’ on July 29.
The performance of the Rangam or Oracle will be conducted the next day morning. A woman standing atop an earthen pot invokes Goddess Mahankali and performs the ritual during ‘Rangam’. She foretells the year ahead when devotees ask her about the future.
After ‘Rangam’, a procession with a portrait of the deity atop caparisoned elephant will be organised. “We are getting ‘pattu’ saris from Kanchi this time to offer them to the Goddess. At the same time, members of weavers’ community are also offering saris and they are weaving at the temple premises only,” Annapurna said.
According to Annapurna, as many as 32 lakh devotees took part in the festival last year and this time the turnout might reach 40 lakh. Adequate number of police and volunteers will be deployed for maintaining queues at the temple.
The temples in Secunderabad and its surroundings along with the famous Sri Akkanna Madanna Mahankali Temple at Hari Bowli and Sri Simhavahini Mahankali Temple in Lal Darwaza in old city are also being decked up for the annual festival.