The annual Aashada Bonalu festival was celebrated across Telangana amidst pomp and gaiety and much fanfare.
The annual Aashada Bonalu festival was celebrated across Telangana amid pomp and gaiety and much fanfare. The state government made elaborate arrangements for the devotees to offer prayers at all the Mother Goddess temples in the state, and the police made security arrangements at all temples in the city.
In the twin cities, the state festival saw the flocking of large numbers of people to temples close to them. They offered special pujas on the occasion. Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, Telangana Endowments Minister A Indrakaran Reddy, Legislative Council Chairman Swamy Goud, MP K Kavitha and MP Rapolu Ananda Bhaskar were among the dignitaries who offered prayers to the Simha Vahini Mahankali Ammavaru at the Lal Darwaja temple, apart from thousands of devotees. Reddy offered silk clothes to the goddess on behalf of the government. Kavitha offered a golden bonam.
Swamy Goud, speaking on the occasion, hailed the TRS government for conducting the festival on a grand scale. He said that elaborate arrangements had been made to ensure that no inconvenience was caused to the devotees. He said that he had prayed to the goddess to see that the people lived happily.
Kavitha said that the Telangana government was giving adequate funds to all the temples in the state to celebrate the festival, while the earlier governments had not released funds to even 20 temples. She said that she had prayed the goddess to bestow bountiful rains upon the state. Reddy said that he, too, had prayed the goddess for the welfare and prosperity of the people and for plenty of rains.
Women and girls clad in traditional dresses carrying pots embellished with vermillion, turmeric and traditional neem leaves also thronged the temples in the city in large numbers to offer bonams. The pothurajus, synonymous with bonalu, danced to trademark drum beats of the festival.
At the historic Akkanna Madanna Mahankalu Mandiram, the first maha aarati was offered after a mahabhishekam by Rapolu Ananda Bhaskar, MP. Talasani Srinivas Yadav, minister, offered pattu vastraalu to Mahankali Matha on behalf of the state government. Renown badminton player P V Sindhu was among those offering bonams to the mother.
Till afternoon, former governor and former chief minister K Rosaiah, Legislative Council Chairman Swamy Goud, Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Padma Devender Reddy, Telangana BJP president Dr Laxman, former union minister Sarve Satyanarayana, former vice-chairman of NDMA Marri Shashidhar Reddy, ex-MPs V Hanumantha Rao and Anjankumar Yadav, MLAs J Geeta Reddy, D K Aruna, G Kishan Reddy and Sampathkumar, DIG Malla Reddy and DCP (South Zone) Sathyanarayana had darshans of the mother.
The Pothuraju Swagatham will be at 11 am tomorrow, and Rangam will take place at 12 noon.