On the last day, Rangam happens when Susheelamma, the orator, is possessed by a goddess. She indulges in an act of prophecy at Sri Bhulaxmi Mata Mandir. She predicts the future events for the following year. DC image
HYDERABAD: The century-old Sri Bhulaxmi Mata Mandir, Begum Bazaar X Road, is gearing up for grand Bonalu, the annual festival that venerates Goddess Mahakali, after a gap of two years due to the pandemic restrictions.
The temple was constructed when the Musallam Jung Pul or Muslim Jung bridge was built in 1893. Yelduri Babu Guru, chief priest of the temple said, "The Goddess apparently came from underneath the ground and appeared for real. It was the Nizam government that built the temple. We have been taking care of this temple for generations. I am the fifth generation priest here. Bonalu has been celebrated since 1969 in this temple."
In a traditional ritual a day prior to Bonalu, the Goddess’ wedding takes place. On the festival day, devotees start coming to the temple from 5 am to offer Naivedyam, known as Bonam which means ‘meal’ offered to the Goddess. On the day of Bonalu, thousands of people visit this temple. In the evening, there is a Palaram Bandi Julus where the Goddess’ procession is taken through the town.
As part of the festivities, Ghatam, a copper pot, decorated in the form of Goddess, is carried by a priest to a lemon tree, followed by a procession to perform pooja. Ghatam is a parade to invite the Goddess to celebrate Bonalu festival with people. They immerse it in water on the last day of the festival.
On the same day, Rangam happens when Susheelamma, the orator, is possessed by a goddess. She indulges in an act of prophecy at Sri Bhulaxmi Mata Mandir. She predicts the future events for the following year.
Explaining the significance of mud pots in Bonalu, Yelduri Babu Guru, the chief priest said, "Mud pots have special significance in this festival. Devotees put their offerings in mud-pot because it is considered to be the purest of material rather than metals. It is also powerful."