Hyderabad: The older parts of the city presented a festive look as Bonalu was celebrated on Sunday.
Temples at Charminar, Lal Darwaza, Shahalibanda, Uppuguda, Chandrayangutta, Gowlipura, Lalaithabagh, Chatrinaka, Aliabad and Falaknuma were decked up for the festive occasion.
The festival was not celebrated in the past two years due to the COVID-19 restrictions imposed on mass gatherings to contain the pandemic.
On Sunday morning women wearing traditional clothes lined up at temples to offer the ‘bonam’ to the deity and pray for the well being of the family. The bonam is an earthen pot, filled with turmeric, cooked rice, neem leaves etc.
Serpentine queues were witnessed at Lal Darwaza Mahankali temple and devotees continued to visit till late in the night. The police placed barricades to streamline the queues.
Youngsters along with the potharaju visited the temple and sought blessings of the deity. They danced to the drum beats while coming in procession to the temples.
Minister for Cinematography, Talasani Srinivas Yadav, who visited the temple speaking on the occasion, said the Telangana government is officially celebrating the festival and providing all funds for grand celebrations.
“In past the hundi collection or donations were used by the management to organize the rituals and other traditional practices. Now the government sanctioned funds for over 8,000 temples in the State and to the GHMC for taking up various civic works in view of the festival. So far in the history of Telangana no government provided funds to the temples in the history of the State. The TRS government went a step ahead to ensure the festivals of all religions are celebrated on a grand scale and funds provided to religious places,” he said.
Minister for Home, Mohd Mahmood Ali, Minister for Endowment, Indra Karan Reddy, Hyderabad Mayor G Vijayalaxmi, YSR Congress leader YS Sharmila, Congress leader Geeta Reddy, former MP Konda Vishweshwar Reddy, and others visited the Akkanna Madanna and Lal Darwaza temple.
Senior police officials supervised the security arrangements and around 4,500 policemen were deployed by the Hyderabad police to prevent any unfortunate incident. Police pickets were posted at all sensitive points and religious places and patrolling continued.
The security arrangements will continue till Monday late night until the ‘Ghatam’ procession to be taken out on Monday afternoon culminates. The Ghatam from 26 temples will be taken out in a procession led by a caparisoned elephant on Monday. The procession will pass through Lal Darwaza, Nagulchinta, Shahalibanda, Charminar, Pathergatti and end at Nayapul.