Bonalu festival to be celebrated in the old city tomorrow

Author: Mohammed Hussain

Hyderabad: Bonalu, now a State festival, will be celebrated in Lal Darwaza, Hyderabad, on Friday.

Bonalu is spread over about a month days beginning with a major procession that starts from Golconda Fort. It was celebrated with zest on July 14. The second event of the festival begins at Lal Darwaza, near the historic Charminar will be held on July 21. The final event takes place at Mahan Kali temple in Secunderabad on July 28 where the female protagonist makes predictions about the political scenario in the State to the changing of the weather.

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The Lal Darwaza Bonalu that coincides with the festivities at Akanna-Madanna Temple Festival at Shah Ali Banda is a reflection of Hindu-Muslim unity since it was patronized by the Sixth Nizam Mir Mahboob Ali Khan following the greatly devastating floods of 1908.

The Lal Darwaza Bonalu Festival is in fact divided into two parts—one that starts from Lal Darwaza and other from Akkanna-Madanna temple in Shah Ali Banda. The Lal Darwaza Temple is also known as Simhavahini Sri Mahankali Devalayam. For over a century Simhavahini Sri Mahankali Devalayam located in Lal Darwaza, Old City.

The devotees from various parts of the city and surrounding districts and also from other states like Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu would be attending the Bonalu festival and its procession in huge numbers.

Speaking to K Venkatesh Vice President, Simhavahini Mahankali Temple said, “Every year the devotees are increasing. Last year their number had touched 2 lakhs. This year we are expecting them to go up to 2.5 to 3 lakhs.”

“As you are aware the Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has declared Bonalu as the State festival.  For the last about five years, it is being celebrated in Delhi. It was also celebrated in the U.S. by the All Temple Association of the Old City who is staying there. This year it would also be observed in Maharashtra,” he said.

Satish Kumar, President of Akanna -Madanna said that the Bonalu festival is the festival of communal harmony which shows the culture of Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb of Hyderabad and Telangana state. With this aim on after Pooja Mahankali, priests of Akanna-Madanna along with chief guest perform flower tribute and present Chadar to the Dargah which is here in front of the temple. We also paint and maintain Dargah.”

Through this festival, we are spreading the culture all over India. When the state was Andhra Pradesh this festival was grounded and when it separated this festival has become the state festival of Telangana state. After the separation, this festival is being celebrated for the last 5 years also in Capital state Delhi, and recently we have celebrated in Delhi this month. Last year All Temple Association of old city President had also celebrated the festival in the US. This year we are going to celebrate the festival in Maharashtra also, he added.

He also told that after the separation the TS Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao participated in the festival and the first time the gold Bonam (vessel) was taken since then many dignitaries were taken gold Bonam during the festival.

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