Hyderabad: Pomp and gaiety marked celebration of Bonalu today, a folk festival of Telangana, with devotees thronging the famous Sri Ujjaini Mahankali temple at Secunderabad.
Telangana government has accorded status of “state festival” to Bonalu after the formation of the new state last year.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao visited Mahankali Temple in Secunderabad and offered prayers to the deity and greeted people on the occasion.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya, state ministers, including T Srinivas Yadav, Congress leader V Hanumantha Rao were also among those who offered prayers.
“Right from 2 AM devotees in large numbers have gathered to offer prayers. After the government declared Bonalu, state-festival, celebrations were on in a grand manner across the city and the state,” Yadav told reporters.
Bonalu is an annual festival celebrated in twin cities Hyderabad, Secunderabad and parts of Telangana as a thanksgiving to Goddess Mahakali for fulfilment of vows, and involves worship of the goddess and her various forms.
Women, attired in colourful robes, carry the ‘Bonalu’ (decorated pots containing food) on their heads to the temple for offering them to the Goddess.
Bonalu is celebrated to ward off diseases and usher in good health, peace and prosperity.