Bonalu or Mahakali Bonalu Jatara, a thanksgiving festival dedicated to Goddess Mahakali or Kali, celebrated in Ashada masam (June – July – August) in twin cities, Hyderabad, Secunderabad and all other parts of Telangana in Andhra Pradesh. Mahankali Jathara Bonalu is a colourful festival, mainly observed by women. Goddess Mahakali is also worshipped as Mysamma, Yellamma (Renuka mata), Pochamma, Peddamma, Poleramma, Maramma, and Ankalamma.
In 2013, Bonalu begins with Golconda Jagadambika temple Bonalu on July 14. Haribowli Akkanna Madanna temple Bonalu begins on August 4. Secunderabad Ujjaini Mahakali Bonalu 2013 date is July 28 and Laldarwaza Bonalu or Old city Bonalu 2013 is on August 4.
Bonalu Jatara – Grand Festival in Hyderabad and Secunderabad:
Bonalu Jatara is a Ashada masa utsavam celebrated with joy and devotion in Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Bonam means Bojanaalu or meal in Telugu, the native language, is an offering to Mahankali. During the fest, women bring their offerings in clay pots decorated with colours, neem leaves and a diya on the top. They carry the clay pots on their head and proceeds towards Kali temple from houses and perform some special poojas to offer bonam to the Goddess. Drums and devotional songs of Goddess Kali create a wonderful atmosphere at the temples during Bonalu festival.
When Bonalu Jatara started – Origin and history of Bonalu Jathara:
In 1869, the people of Hyderabad and Secunderabad were suffered very much from Plague. Many people were died and many were diseased. People thought that the epidemic was a result of Goddess anger on them and initiated Bonalu to pacify the Goddess Mahankali.
Bonalu Jathara – The Major Temples in Hyderabad and Secunderabad:
The major temples where Bonalu Jathara is held at are – Ujjaini Mahakali Temple at Secunderabad, Shri Jagadambika temple at Golconda fort, Mahankali Akkanna Madanna Temple at Haribowli, Sri Matheshwari Temple at Laldarwaja, Yellamma Temple at Balkampet, Shri Jagadamba temple of Sultanshahi, Bangaru Mysamma temple of Shalibanda, Darbar Mysamma Temple of Aliabad and Mutyalamma temple of Chandulal Bela.
Bonalu Jathara is started at Golconda Sri Jagadambika Temple with observing some special pujas. After this celebrations, Ujjaini Mahakali Bonalu, Laldarwaja Matheshwari Kali Bonalu and then throughout Telangana Bonalu are held. Ashada Bonalu is culminated in the same Golconda Jagadambika temple at where it is started.