Bonalu


Bonalu is a regional public holiday in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Also known as Ashada Jatara, Bonalu is celebrated annually Shashti tithi of Shukla paksha (sixth day) of the month of Ashadha month (July- August) and is dedicated to Mahakali and other local Goddesses. it is also celebrated on the first Sunday of Aashadham, popular celebrations of this event are held at a temple near Golconda Fort. It is observed in the twin cities Hyderabad & Secunderabad and other areas of Telangana state in India. All forms of local deities like Yellamma, Maisamma, Pochamma, Peddhamma, Dokkalamma, Ankalamma, Poleramma, Maremma, and Nookalamma are worshipped on this day.

Bonalu 2023

Sun , 25th Jun 2023

Origin Of Bonalu

This festival dates to 18th century, when the plague epidemic broke out in the twin cities of Hyderabad & Secunderabad and killed lot of people, a military battalion that had just left for Ujjain prayed to Goddess Mahakali to eradicate the epidemic in their cities. They vowed that they would establish a temple for Mahakali in their city when the plague is killed. It is believed that the Goddess answered their prayers and kept pestilence at bay. When the battalion returned home, they installed Mahakali idol and began the tradition of offering Bonalu to the Goddess. They included the local deities in this ritual. The word Bonam is from the sanskrit word -Bhojanam which means feast or a meal and Bonalu means offering this Bonam to the goddess as a thank you

Rituals

On the day of Bonalu, women prepare Sweetpongal- rice cooked with milk and jaggery in a new brass or earthen pot decorated with neem leaves, turmeric, vermilion. A ghee lamp is lit on top of the pot after the Pongal is cooked. Devotees carry this pot on their heads and offer this "Bonam" along with things that denote shubam or Mangalam like turmeric-vermilion, bangles, beetle leaf-arena nut and a new sari preferable red colour to Mahakali. This bonalu rituals are usually performed on all the Sundays of Ashadha month in various Goddess' temples in and around Telangana state. Sometimes processions are organised where women carry bonam and walk quite a distance to the temple lead by a head priest who channelises a deity called Pothuraju. Pothuraju is considered as the brother of the Goddess who was anointed to guard the localities

Rangam-  this follows the celebration of Bonalu. The proceeding day women devotees gather and head priestess channelises Mahakali, who foretells the future of the devotees seeking divine guidance

Ghatam- Bonalu festival concludes with immersion of the Ghatam, a copper pot decorated like the Goddess. The priest who leads the Bonalu procession as Pothuraja, smears turmeric all over his body, wears traditional clothing and carry the Ghatam on an elephant or horses. Other devotees dressing up various mythological roles accompanied by Folk music and glittering procession brings a closure to this elaborate festival. The Ghatam is carried with festivaities and immersed in a local water body. 

These rituals are about two centuries old and will continue to be carried on with the same festive spirit, all through these years and years to come.

Benefits

  • Bonalu festival removes obstacles in the path towards financial stability.
  • Worshipping local deities on this special event dissolves distress in a family, protects the family members from diseases and restores peace. 
  • This auspicious celebration removes all the misfortunes, poverty; helps you attract, accumulate more wealth

Bonalu festival dates between 2019 & 2029

Year

Date

2019

Sunday, 28th of July

2020

Sunday, 19th of July

2021

Sunday, 8th of August

2022

Sunday, 24th of July

2023

Sunday, 16th of July

2024

Sunday, 4th of August

2025

Sunday, 20th of July

2026

Sunday, 9th of August

2027

Sunday, 1st of August

2028

Sunday, 16th of July

2029

Sunday, 5th of August

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