Hyderabad, July 17 : The annual Ashadha Jatara or Bonalu festival has started early on Sunday morning at the historic Ujjain Mahankali Temple in Secunderabad amid religious fervor and devotion.
Temple authorities have made all arrangements for the convenience of the devotees. Soon after Harati was given to the Goddess at 0400 hrs on Sunday, devotees were allowed darshan. Devotees were seen queuing up from 0200 hrs. separate queue was arranged for women carrying Bonalu. Two thousand policemen were posted for the bandobast at the temple.
It is the belief of the people that if Bonalu (colloquial term for Bhojanalu – food) was offered to the Goddess, there would be good rains and epidemics would be under control.
According to temple history one Appaiah, a former soldier has started pujas at the temple 200 years ago. He brought the Kali’s deity from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh as he has observed that by performing pujas to the Goddess, people of Ujjain were saved from cholera.
Chief Minister pays obeisance to Maha Kali
The Chief Minister Mr. N. Kirankumar Reddy was one of the early visitors to the Mahankali temple. Temple authorities have welcomed him with all traditional honours. MLA Mr. Marri Sasidhar Reddy, MP Mr. Anjan Kumar Yadav and other leaders have accompanied the Chief Minister. He has performed special pujas to the Goddess.
Chandrababu prays for lend of uncertainty
TDP Chief Minister Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu who visited the temple told the media that he prayed the goddess to best good rains and peace to the state. He said the law and order should be under control so that people could live in peace. He said he also prayed the Goddess to dispel evil forces from the state. He said it was also his wish that the present uncertainty in the state should also end. TDP leader Mr. Devender Goud has also visited the temple.
BJP wants to play a key role in state politics
BJP state president Mr. Kishan Reddy, national secretary Mr. Lakshman and senior leader Mr. Bandaru Dattatreya have also visited the temple and offered pujas to the Goddess.
Mr. Kishan Reddy said that he has prayed the Goddess to give strength to his party to play key role in Andhra Pradesh politics and become a force to reckon with in the state.
DGP prays the Goddess
The DGP Mr. Dinesh Reddy has visited the temple with his family members and paid obeisance to the Goddess Kali.
The city police commissioner Mr. A K Khan who visited the temple said elaborate security arrangements have been made to ensure safety of the devotees in view of the recent blasts in Mumbai. He said apart from bomb squads, snifer dogs were also pressed into service. He said parking of vehicles was not permitted in the vicinity of the temple as a precautionary measure. He said similar tight security arrangements would also be made for the Bonalu festival to be held on next Sunday in the old city.
KCR prays for Telangana
The TRS chief Mr. K Chandrasekhara Rao has visited the temple along with his family members and offered special pujas. KCR’s daughter Ms. Kavita has come to the temple carrying bonam,
KCR told the media that he has only one wish and that was Telangana. He said he prayed the Goddess to give Telangana state at the earliest.
Kavita said women expressing their desire for Telangana by observing the traditional Telangana festival bonalu.