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Bonal puja performed yesterday, procession today in Old City

Hyderabad: The annual Aashada Bonalu festival has been conducted across the State amid pomp and gaiety and much fanfare. In the twin cities, the State festival of Bonalu saw the flocking of a large number of people to the nearby temples. They offered special pujas on the occasion.

Union Minister Bandari Dattatreya, Endowments Minister A Indrakaran Reddy, Legislative Council Chairman Swamy Goud, M P K Kavitha, M P Rapolu Ananda Bhaskar were among the dignitaries who offered prayers to the Simha Vauhini Mahankali Ammavaru at the Lal Darwaja temple, apart from thousands of devotees. Indrakaran Reddy offered silk clothes to the temple on behalf of the Government. Kavitha offered golden bonam. Swamy Goud, speaking on the occasion, hailed the TRS Government for conducting the festival on a grand scale. He said elaborate arrangements were made to ensure that no inconvenience was caused to the devotees. He prayed for the happiness of the people.

Kavitha said that the Telangana Government was giving adequate funds to all the temples in the State to celebrate the Bonalu festival, while the earlier Governments had not released funds even to 20 temples in the State. She said she prayed to bestow the State with bountiful of rains. Indrakaran Reddy said he prayed the Goddess for welfare and prosperity of the people and plenty of rains.

Women and girls clad in traditional dresses carrying pots embellished with vermillion, turmeric and traditional Neem leaves, thronged the temples in the city in large numbers and offered bonams. The Pothurajus, synonymous for the bonalu, danced to the tunes typically sounding drum beats.

The State Government made elaborate arrangements for the devotees to offer prayers at all Goddess temples in the city and the state. Police made security arrangements at all temples in the city.

At the Historic Akkanna Madanna Mahankalu Mandiram, the first Maha Aarati was offered after Mahabhishekam by Rapolu Ananda Bhaskar MP. Talasani Srinivas Yadav, Minister offered Pattu vastraalu to Matha on behalf of the State Government. The renowned Badminton Player P.V. Sindhu offered Bonam to Sri Mahankali Matha
Till afternoon, K.Rosaih, Former Governor and Former Chief Minister, Swamy Goud, Chairman, Legislative Council, Smt Padma Devender Reddy, Deputy Speaker of Legislative Assembly, Dr Laxman, president, BJP , Sarvey Sathyanarayana, Former Union Minister, Marri Shashidhar Reddy, Former Vice-Chairman NDMA, V.Hanumanth Rao and Anjankumar Yadav, Ex MPs, Smt J.Geeta Reddy, Smt D.K Aruna, G.Kishan Reddy and Sampathkumar MLAS, DIG Malla Reddy, DCP, South Zone, Sathyanarayana had the Darshan of Matha.

The Potha Raju Swagatham will be at 11 AM tomorrow and Rangam will take place at 12 noon.(NSS)