‘Bonalu’ festivities to begin in Telangana, officials urge Covid-19 standards | Latest India News


Telangana is set to celebrate the “Asha Bonalu” festival on Sunday, one of the largest traditional folk festivals in the state. The event was canceled by the state government last year due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. The Bonalu festival was declared a “state festival” by the government led by K Chandrasekhar Rao after the state was formed in 2014.

The Bonalu festival involves dozens of devotees offering the traditional “bonam” (derived from Bhojanam, which means meal) to the goddess Mahankali at 25 temples in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. The first of these offerings – the “golden bonam” – will be offered to the goddess Jagdamba at the temple of Golconda Fort in Hyderabad at noon.

The Bonalu Festival, a month-long event, is expected to see a strong stampede of loyal women this year, as many were prevented from bidding properly last year due to Covid-19 restrictions. According to reports, authorities expect thousands of worshipers to crowd the temple premises on weekdays.

Bonalu this year is the first festival authorized after Telangana carried out a mass vaccination campaign against Covid-19. To reduce the risk of the virus spreading, state police as well as temple authorities will monitor crowds and ensure proper adherence to coronavirus-related protocols, officials familiar with the matter told news agencies.

The Bonalu festival is usually celebrated every year during the Telugu month of Ashadham (which falls in June / July). Devotees worship the goddess Mahankali (a form of Durga) seeking her divine blessings to overcome all obstacles and cure illnesses.

To celebrate “Bonalu”, the faithful prepare “bonam” (meal including cooked rice, milk and jaggery) in new earthenware pots (ghatams), which the women carry on their heads to the temple and offer to the deity. . The pots are adorned with neem, turmeric and vermilion leaves.

Bonalu festivities begin on the first Friday of the month of Ashadham and continue until the end. The main festivities start at the temple of the goddess Mahankali at Golconda Fort in the first week, followed by the Ujjaini Mahankali temple in Secunderabad, the Akkanna Madanna temple in Shalibanda, and end at the Mahankali temple at Laldarwaza in the old city of Hyderabad.

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