Telangana Government on Bonalu Festival
As the annual festivities are mainly held in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, which account for the majority of Covid-19 cases in the state, the government decided on Wednesday that there will be no public celebrations.
The nearly month-long festival is scheduled to begin on June 25 with the celebrations at the Sri Jagadamba temple atop the historic Golconda Fort.
The annual festivities conclude with a procession from Akkanna Madanna temple. The procession led by a caparisoned elephant, carrying the ‘ghatam’ of the goddess, passes through the main thoroughfares of the old city, including the historic Charminar.
He said the decision was taken as per the guidelines issued by the Central and the state governments for religious festivities.
The minister said the priests at the leading temples would perform the rituals, make the offerings on behalf of the government and take out a traditional procession. There will be no public participation in these festivities.
The celebrations are scheduled at Sri Ujjaini Mahankali temple in Secunderabad on July 12 and 13, at Sri Simhavahini Mahankali temple in Lal Darwaza and at Sri Akkanna Madanna Mahankali temple in Haribowli on July 19 and 20.
After the formation of Telangana State in 2014, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) had declared ‘Bonalu’ as the state festival.
It is commonly believed that the festival was first celebrated over 150 years ago following a major cholera outbreak. People believed that the epidemic was due to the anger of the Mahankali and began offering ‘Bonalu’ to placate her.