The grand fair of Mahankali at Lalbazar in the Cantonment kicked off with pomp and gaiety on Wednesday. The Bonalu celebrations are marked with drum beats, brightly streets, feats of Potharajus, hysteric devotion displayed by the Sivasattus.
A huge number of devotees thronged the fair to have the glimpse of the mother on this auspicious occasion. In particular were the women devotees, dressed in gorgeous attire, carried Bonam on their heads to please the deity.
Bonalu, also known as AashadhaJatara, is celebrated during the month of Aashadham in nearly 115 temples in the city including AkkannaMadanna temple, Peddamma temple, Katta Maisamma, GandiMaisamma to name a few.And in all areas and temples of Hyderabad and Secunderabad it is celebrated every Sundayand Mondayof the whole Aashadham.
In a unique case of diversity in unity the famous Trimulgherry Lalbazar Mahankali temple in Secunderabad the festival is celebrated on Wednesdayand Thursday in which even Christians and Muslims would also participate.
Legendhas it that the origin of these celebrations goes way back to 165 years. Earlier, there was a small temple in the dense forest.There is an interesting story about the construction of the temple. Long ago, a man called Kummari Rangaiah used to live by selling lime prepared crushing the stones. He used to transport the lime in bullock carts.
His carts suddenly stopped and could not move forward when they reached the area, where present temple is located.He did not understand what was happening. One day, the Goddess appeared in his dream and asked Rangaiah to construct a temple for her. He then constructed a temple in 1905 and started performing ritual and since then the tradition is being continued.
As the Cantonment area being cosmopolitan, people of all religions participate and do their duties to the Goddess, which have been continued by their ancestors. Perumakka, a devotee from Secunderabadrenovated the temple and installed a huge idol as part of redeeming her vows.
Uniqueness at this temple is Bonalu are celebrated on Wednesday and Thursday, as the devotees believe that the Mother Goddess visits the temple on these days.The Bonalu are celebrated on only Sundays at all places during the month of Ashadham.Every year, procession of Ghatam is organised here on those days.Nagalingam, Narsimham, the descendants of Ambati Kummari Rangaiah take the procession of Ghatam from the outskirts to various streets in the locality in a grand manner.
The Trimulgherry-Lalbazar temple follows the 165-year-old tradition of festival duties being shared between people and communities of both Trimulgherry and Lalbazar,and till today the same families are continuing to do their duties that are carried forward by their forefathers and ancestors.
On Wednesday the offering of Bonalu is being done and on Thursday Rangam programme and Phalaharambandipotharaju event is organised.InRangam, the programme is a person stands on freshly made pot known as Pachikundaevoking goddess on to himself and tells Bhavishyavani predicting the time ahead expressing happiness over the festival.
In this the Pachikunda(wet pot prepared one hour before the programme as an age-old tradition) is prepared at Trimulgherry by same Kummari family which has been making the pot and offering to Lalbazar temple over 165years,temple coordinators and people from Lalbazar in a procession visit to Trimulgherry and welcome the Pachikundato Lalbazar temple with due respect and young girls and boys dance around it.
Thepot is placed in a half dug pit and on this the person evoking goddess stands and tells the Bhavisyavani.And in all the programmes of the festival the respective communities and families residing in Trimulgherry and Lalbazar who have been doing the duties since 165 years till date the same families perform all rituals and duties to the goddess and making festival a colorfull,pious and a memorable event. Devotees from different areas visit this annual fare. Even people who settled in faraway places also come to seek blessings of the Goddess.