Posted by : sachinkate December 17, 2011

Bonalu is a Hindu festival dedicated to Mahakali, Goddess of Power. The festival is mostly celebrated in some parts of Andhra Pradesh like Hyderabad, Secunderabad, Rayalaseema etc. The festival comes in the month of Ashadh (July- August). The festival is also regarded as event of thanksgiving to the Goddess for fulfilling wishes. On the occasion of the festival a meal, called as Bonam, is offered to the Goddess. Bonam contains cooked rice with milk, sugar kept in a brass or earthen pot which also contains neem branches, vermilion, turmeric, Kadi (white Chalk). Women with these pots containing Bonam are seen going to the temple of goddess to offer the meal. They are accompanied by drummers and men dancing to the tune of drums. 

The festival usually starts with Mahakali temple situated at the fort of Golkonda. On the occasion of the festival women adorn themselves with jewelry and silk saris. Some women spellbound by the devotional environ are seen dancing to the rhythm of the drums which is played in honor of the Goddess. Palaharam Bandi (the procession) in honor of the goddess is taken out to local temple of the goddess. Potharaju, the brother of Goddess, is represented in the procession by a local man wearing small draped dhoti, bells on his ankles, and turmeric and vermilion on his body and forehead. He is seen leading the procession and dancing to the beats of the drum. 

 On the occasion of the festival streets are decorated with neem braches and songs praising the goddess are played on the loud speakers. On the next day of the festival forecasting of the future, known as Rangam, is held and women under the divine trance are seen prophesying the future of the devotees.

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