Hyderabad: The only temple in the city to celebrate a three-day Bonalu, the Sri Mahankali temple in Karkhana, will start its celebrations on the second Saturday of August, keeping a tradition that has been followed since the 1900s, according to the temple authorities.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, temple treasurer Vivek Chintu, said that the temple, built in the early 1900s and registered in 1938, started as a small establishment. “It was renovated around 1998 by the then temple committee and the wood idol was replaced by a stone one. That year was significant as the temple witnessed large-scale renovation, expansion and extension,” he said.
“The committee, which changes every 3-5 years, ensures that the premises are equipped to handle all the necessary arrangements. Over the last few years, a Shivalayam, Gaushala, Hanuman temple, Chowdeshwari and Navagraha have been set up, all from the donations,” Chintu said.
The temple has four priests, a president, P. Rama Rao, and one R. Jagath Singh as trustees. Among the priests, P. Raju is an organiser, while Ashok, Ravi and Deepak are social workers, Chintu said.
Explaining the three-day festivities, temple elders said that the preparation of ‘Gattam’, followed by pujas and celebrations from 5 am signify its start and that it goes on till 3 am on Monday, when it ends with Panchi Kunda, Rangam, Pothuraju and other activities.
“The Bonalu witnesses a crowd of 3,000 devotees from across Secunderabad and nearby regions. Another significance of this particular temple is that we also worship seven ammavaru by cutting a tree and making the idols out of it,” a temple elder said.
Apart from Bonalu, every Friday and Monday, people come to do Kumkumarchana, which is done between 11 am and 12.30 pm. “We also perform Satyanarayana Vratha weekly once, every Sunday morning. Those interested can come, sit and listen. Moreover, every 15 days, we hold homams and also celebrate Dussehra for nine days, along with Bathukamma,” the elder said.
The elder said, “We also have a Durgamatha idol made with brass. Other important festivals for this temple are Diwali, Shivratri, Pongal and Hanuman Jayanti at the Hanuman temple, which was built three years ago, which also draws a huge crowd. In May, we offer ragi millet drink for our devotees and thrice a year, annadanam is done with 300 kilos of rice in front of the temple.”...