Bonalu, which symbolises the unique culture of Telangana, began amid fanfare on Thursday with devotees offering first Bonam to goddess Jagadambika.
The month-long festivities begin with Golconda Bonalu. Ministers T. Srinivas Yadav, Indrakaran Reddy and Mahmood Ali participated in the celebrations.
The ministers presented silk robes to the goddess on behalf of the state government. A procession was taken from Langar House to Jagdamba temple at Golconda fort.
Large number of women with pots on their heads, ‘Potharajus’ and devotees participated in the event.
The women devotees offered ‘Bonam’, containing cooked rice, jaggery, curd and neem leaves to goddess.
Bonalu begins with the ‘Ashada’ month, according to the Hindu calendar, celebrating goddess Mahankali. Devotees, especially women make offerings in the form of food to goddess in specially decorated pots.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner C.V. Anand supervised the security arrangements for the festival. He also offered prayers at the temple.
Every year, the festival is held in Hyderabad in three phases. Golconda Bonalu will be followed by Lashkar Bonalu, which is held Ujjaini Mahankali temple in Secunderabad
The festivities conclude next month at Sri Simhavahini Mahankali temple in Lal Darwaza and at Sri Akkanna Madanna Mahankali temple in Haribowli in the old city of Hyderabad.
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 Mahankali and began offering Bonalu to placate her.
Speaking at Golconda Bonalu festivities on Thursday, minister Srinivas Yadav said. The festival was being celebrated on a grand scale after formation of Telangana state.
He said this year the government has released Rs 15 crore for conducting the festival.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao extended greetings to Telangana people on the occasion of the beginning of Golconda Ashada Bonalu festival. He stated that the government is organising the Bonalu as a state festival which showcases Telangana culture and accord importance to the culture of all Telangana communities.
The CM said that women offer Bonam to the goddess with pomp and devotion during the festivities. Bonalu festival has become a symbol of cultural and spiritual existence of Telangana for generations.
KCR said that it is an auspicious sign that the deity is showering kindness on all of us on the beginning of Bonala festival. The CM prayed to the goddess to continue her blessing on people and Telangana state and lead all sections of people a happy and prosperous life in the country as well.