In the month of July or August every year, it is time for one of the most auspicious festivals that keeps Telangana on their toes. This festival is called the Bonalu - A day to thank and praise the Goddess Mahankali.
There are a lot of rituals and stories behind the emergence of this festival. It holds a significant value of the existence of the present Mahankali temples that have been developed in the cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad,
Below, you can take a look at the manner in which their colourful, energy filled procession to the temples takes place.
Bonalu - A yearly festival of Telangana
Bonalu is one of the major festivals celebrated every year in Telangana
Bonalu rituals in full force!
Bonalu takes place on 4 sundays in the month of July or August every year.
First Bonalu Sunday at Golconda Fort
People flock on first sunday at Golconda fort for Bonalu to visit the temple in Hyderabad
Goddess Mahanakali in all her glory
People worship Goddess Mahanakali for the festival of Bonalu , as she is said to drive diseases away and give a peaceful life.
Potharaju all dressed in his attire
A mythological character Potharaju, is the one who leads the ladies to the processions. You can read the Bonalu rituals to understand this tradition.
Dance to please the spiritual powers
Drums build the josh of Bonalu festivities
Goddess Mahankali dressed in all her power
Men dressed to play dances in Bonalu festival
Role plays, and dances are part of the ritual, as the procession takes place. Men dress like Potharaju to enact the role of Godess Mahankali's brother.
Another group of men in their religious acts
Acrobatic performances are the real stunners
Elephant remain the highlight since history!
A view of the Secunderabad festival on the second day of Bonalu
People flock together to pray and do rituals on the second day or the Lakshar Bonalu , and this is held in Secunderabad.
That is one religious devotee !
As the spell of Mahankali falls upon her
A women in Mahanakali trance
Women who get tranced are said to have the power to speak about the future. People ask them about theri respective lives. This happens on the fourth day.
A woman doing the religious sway
Drum men are geared up for the event
Drum beats form a crucial part of the Bonalu rituals
Dances are moving in full swing!
More women in their tranced form
It is said that women who are tranced will be filled with the fury and power of the Goddess , so during the procession, their feet are cooled off to cool the spirit.