Preparation for the Bonalu festival at the Mahakali temple inside Golconda Fort began on Tuesday. (DC file image)
Hyderabad: Residents of Golconda were an excited lot on Wednesday, ahead of the start of the Bonalu festival on June 30, which will set the tone for the rest of the city over the next few weeks. "This is the most awaited festival of the year for us, where we, along with my family and relatives, worship the Yellamma Talli," said 67-year-old Ramulu.
The festive procession will start from the Langar Hauz junction at noon and go up to the Sri Jagadamba Mahankali Alayam, located atop the Golconda Fort. This Bonalu season kicks off from this temple every year, following which 3,000-odd temples across the state hold their festivities over the next few weeks. At Golconda temple, Bonalu is celebrated for nine days. On the first day, there will be a ‘Uragimpu’ procession, followed by a ‘Bonam’ procession from Banjara Darwaza and Vigrahapeetam ritual, wherein idols of deities will be established.
Starting on June 30, Golconda Bonalu, another major celebrating area is Secunderabad Bonalu, then the Hyderabad Bonalu, on 24 June, Charminar and its surrounding areas will celebrate on this day. There are other localities which will be having their celebration on different dates during this monsoon season (Ashadam) in the city. This is one of the most-awaited and among the grandest Bonalu celebrations, followed by Secunderabad Bonalu on July 17 and Hyderabad Bonalu on July 24. Other temples will celebrate the festival in ‘ashadam (monsoon)’ month.
Kantha Narsing Rao, a committee member of the Golconda temple, said, "For the procession that starts on June 30, more than a lakh people will turn up for worship on Thursday and Sunday. Some devotees also make vows to worship the deities on all nine days."
Vavilala Maheshwar, chairman of the temple, said, "The procession is taken out with chariots, 20 pothuraju, traditional dancers and around a lakh people, starting from Langar Hauz. The endowments minister (A. Indra Karan Reddy) and other ministers will present the silk cloth to the deity."