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Telangana gears up to celebrate state festival Bonalu from June 30

Month-long festivities to commence with state government’s offering of a silk saree at the Jagadamba temple on the Golconda fort premises in Hyderabad

As Telangana and capital Hyderabad gear up for the state festival Bonalu, the state government assured elaborate arrangements and allocated Rs 15 crore for the same. The month-long festival commences on June 30 at Golconda fort and culminates on July 24.

As part of the festival, Golconda Bonalu is celebrated at Jagadamba temple on June 30, whereas, Secunderabad Bonalu is celebrated at Ujjaini Mahakali temple on July 17 and Hyderabad Bonalu at the Lal Darwaza Simhavahini Mahankali temple on July 24. The festival is also celebrated at hundreds of smaller temples across the city.

On Tuesday, minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav reviewed the progress of arrangements at the fort and said the festivities would commence with the state’s offering of a pattu cheera (silk saree) at the Jagadamba temple on the fort premises. The Bonalu festival was accorded the status of a state festival after the formation of a separate Telangana state in 2014.

At the Golconda fort, the government has made arrangements for crowd control, set up CCTV cameras, and deployed over 800 policemen on duty apart from SHE teams and police in mufti. Traffic will be diverted at 14 locations and eight parking slots have been identified near the fort. Apart from the distribution of water packets and water bottles to devotees, the state has arranged for a medical camp and decided to station four ambulances, the minister said.

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The festival assumes significance as it is believed the goddess would protect her people from seasonal diseases common in the monsoon season. Lakhs of devotees take part in the festival every year by offering bonam (short for bhojanam, meaning feast).

After the plague wreaked havoc in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad in 1813 and killed thousands of people, a group of Hyderabadi Armymen deployed at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh prayed to the local goddess and offered to build a temple in Secunderabad if the plague subsided. When it did, they built a temple in 1815 and offered a bonam which became an annual tradition.

The tradition started in the old city of Hyderabad after the 1908 floods that ravaged the city and killed thousands. On instructions of the seventh Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan, the tradition of offering bonam started here after the river waters subsided with prayers.

First published on: 22-06-2022 at 02:18:18 pm
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