What is the Bonalu Festival? Why is it celebrated?

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Bonalu Festival – Bonalu is a traditional Hindu festival of Telangana in which Goddess Mahakali is worshipped. The festival is celebrated in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. The month of Ashada Masam (July/August) marks the celebration of Bonalu Festival. Special worship rituals are performed on the first and last day of the festival to please Goddess Mahakali (Yellamma) and it is done as a thanksgiving to the Goddess.Bonalu Festival

The word Bonam is derived from Sanskrit which means meal of feast. The women prepare rice cooked with milk and jaggery in a brass or earthen utensil. The pot is decorated with neem leaves, turmeric and sindoor with a lighted lamp beside the pot. These pots are carried by women on the head along with bangles and saree to offer the Goddess.

Bonalu Festival

Goddess Mahakali is worshipped in various regional forms such as Maisamma, Pochamma, Yellamma, Peddamma, Ankalamma, etc.

Why is the Bonalu Festival celebrated?

The origin of the festival can be traced back to the 18th century. In 1813, the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad faced plague and thousands of lives were affected. Just before this epidemic, a military battalion from Hyderabad was deployed in Ujjain. This battalion prayed to the goddess in Mahakali Temple, Ujjain to save the people of Hyderabad. They prayed to the Almighty to kill the plague and save their people.

On doing so, an idol of the goddess would be installed in the city. It is believed that Goddess Mahakali destroyed the disease and thus her idol was brought to the twin cities. This was followed by offering Bonalu to her.

Bonalu Festival –What is the story behind Bonalu festival?

Another mythological aspect behind celebrating the Bonalu Festival is that during Ashada Masam, Goddess Mahakali comes to her parental home. This time is optimal to offer Bonalu to the Goddess. The practice is usually done to pamper and treat the married daughter each year she returns for the vacation.

Bonalu Festival Wishes

May the occasion of Bonalu bring health and prosperity to your family. May Goddess Mahakali bless you with all your wishes.

Happy Bonalu to you and your family! May you have a blessed festival!

Long live the tradition celebrating Bonalu! May this year bring more joy and prosperity to your life!

Happy Bonalu to everyone! May this festival bring divinity and prosperity in your life!

Hope you have blessed and joyful Bonalu festival! 

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