Hyderabad: Bonalu Festival Begins at Golconda

Hyderabad, July 11: Hyderabad kicks off the Bonalu festival from July 11 according to the Hindu calendar month of Aashadam with the religious procession starting from Langar Houz to the temple near Bala Hissar on top of the Golconda Fort.

Clad in their festive best, devotees in good numbers started to throng the temple in the morning. A cloudy and pleasant weather in the morning gave way to rains in the afternoon but that did not deter the devotees.

Carrying traditional ‘bonam’ offerings, women in large numbers participated in the festivities at Golconda.

Authorities have made elaborate arrangements for the festival while implementing Covid-19 protocols. Traffic was diverted around the fort area to prevent any possible inconvenience to the devotees.

The Bonalu festival involves scores of devotees offering the traditional ‘bonam’ (derived from Bhojanam, meaning meals) to the goddess Mahankali at 25 temples across 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 in Hyderabad’s Golconda Fort at 12 noon.

The Bonalu festival, a month-long event, is expected to see a heavy rush from women devotees this year since many were restricted from properly making their offerings last year in view of the Covid-19 curbs. According to reports, the authorities are expecting thousands of devotees to crowd the temple premises on weekdays.

Bonalu this year is the first festival allowed after Telangana conducted a mass Covid-19 vaccination drive. To reduce the risk of virus spread, both the state police as well as temple authorities will be supervising the crowd and ensuring proper adherence to coronavirus-related protocols, officials familiar with the matter told news agencies.

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