Bonalu Festive Fervour Grips City

Update: 2023-07-02 18:30 GMT
The fort's entrance was crowded with processions of Pothrajus and Shiva Sathalus (File Image: DC)

Hyderabad: All roads led to the Golconda fort on Sunday as devotees thronged the Jagadamba temple for the annual Bonalu in Ashada Masam. A light drizzle that lasted a few minutes added to the celebrations.

People of every age group, from toddlers to senior citizens, walked up the paths leading to the temple right from 8 am. Women and children clad in tradition, and colourful, attire and jewellery, women with flowery hairdo and their foreheads smeared with turmeric and vermillion and devotees carrying prasadam of neem leaves, turmeric, lemon and grains to offer to the deity symbolised the auspiciousness of the festival.

Hemala, a flower vendor near the fort, said that the crowd was much more than last year’s, which helped her do good business.  Shopkeepers said that the crowd kept growing as the day progressed.

The fort’s entrance was crowded with processions of Pothrajus and Shiva Sathalus, in particular the latter dancing to the beats of drums with earthen pots on their head carrying prasadam.

G. Monika from Mehdipatnam said it took her more than four hours to get darshan but it was worth the wait. Rani Goud from Moinabad, who came with her family, said that she did not mind waiting to enter the fort despite the huge turnout.

There were many who visited the temple for the first time and had an ‘exhilarating’ experience. One of them, E. Anita from Saroornagar said that it was a memorable experience for her and her family.

Arif Shaikh, a coconut vendor at the entrance of the fort, who has been in the business for the past 50 years, said that the spirit of the festival has remained the same over the years as people come with unwavering faith and devotion.

Devotees walked towards the fort from three sides — Chota Bazaar Road, Seven Tombs Road and Makke ka Darwaza Road. Traffic restrictions were in place and only pedestrians were allowed on these roads

Officials from Golconda police station estimated that by late afternoon around one lakh devotees had gathered at the fort and another one lakh was to follow.

A senior official told Deccan Chronicle, “We have around 1,000 law and order as well as traffic personnel in place. The situation was peaceful and under control, all through”.

Another official informed that six holding points were set up inside the fort to help regulate the crowd and an exit point after darshan from darbar hall to Rani Mahal leading to the archaeology office was created for smooth transition of the public.

Six medical camps and and four water distribution camps by the water board were set up for the convenience of the public. An one ambulance was kept on standby

P. Anuradha, senior public health officer, Golconda, said that there were some minor injury cases, which were attended to by a team of six people, including doctors, at each camp.


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