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Bonalu is very famous folk festival in the Telangana region

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Bonalu a famous festival of south India

Bonalu is another very famous folk festival in the Telangana region. The word "Bonalu" is derived from "Bhojanalu" which means food, which is offered to the goddess. This centenary tradition is celebrated with extreme joy and devotional fervor. It is celebrated during the month of Ashadh. This month-long festival is marked by songs of devotion and ritual worship to the deities of Yellamma, Mahankali, Maisamma, Pochamma and Gundamma.


How Celebration is Done:

Bonalu Festival, Telangana One of the characteristic elements of the Bonalu Festival are the 'Ghatams' or decorated pots filled with flowers, which women wear on their heads during a procession. The cooked rice is also taken in highly polished brass vases or in clay pots decorated with neem leaves, which the women wear on the head of the local goddess while the men accompany them while playing drums.

Indian devotees dressed as Potharaju, brother of the Hindu goddess Mahakali, during the traditional festival of Bonalu, a ritual offering to the goddess Mahakali. The holiday is considered by the Hindus as a thanksgiving towards a goddess who is able to fulfil her requests. The celebration is only held in the months of July and August.


The brightly colour women swing pots at rhythmic rhythms and tunes to the glory of the village deity, Mahankali. The dancers called "Potharajus" follow the dancers, who are supposed to be the protectors of the village.

Why Bonalu Celebrated:

This tradition was born in the year 1813, when a disease appeared in India and believers thought it had been launched by the wrath of the goddess Mahankali. The thousands of participants dress up and paint according to the colours of the goddess, then walk and dance in a long procession through the streets until they reach the temple of Sri Akkanna Madanna Mahankali. After the parade, families gather and share dinner.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the inhabitants of Hyderabad and Secunderabad suffered an outbreak of plague. They prayed to Mahakali to stop the plague and when the disease left the cities, grateful citizens erected a statue to Mahakali and began the tradition of Bonalu.


With a pantheon of 33 million gods to pray for, Mahakali was probably chosen, as Hindu mythology says she is a native of the region and traditionally returned to her ancestral home during the month of Ashada.

It is celebrated with aplomb in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. During this festival, the Sree Jagadambika temple located at the top of the Golconde fort attracts a large number of faithful from neighbouring districts. The Muslim emperors also celebrated this holiday by offering prayers in this temple, hence the popularity of this festival. The state government also performs the puja officially, on behalf of the people. Bonalu is therefore a festival of offerings and families share the offering among their members.

When is Bonalu?

Bonalu is an Indian regional public holiday, observed in Telangana. Also known as Ashada Jatara, it is celebrated in the Shashti tithi of Shukla paksha (sixth day) of the month of Ashadha.

Note that the festival lasts several days and the date we show is that of the official Telangana holiday list, which we will update as soon as it is published.

Bonalu Traditions:

This is a popular festival that venerates Mahankali, the Hindu goddess of time and death. It is observed throughout the state, but the main festivities take place in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.

The name Bonalu is derived from the word Telugu for party. Food plays an important role in Bonalu, with meals prepared to honour the goddess as part of the special puja (acts of worship) during the festival. Mahakali is revered in all its forms during the festival with different temples observing different ceremonies.

Bonalu has been an official state festival in Telangana since 2014. As befits a god of death, Mahakali is commonly portrayed in surprising ways with his four arms with arms and a severed head. His skin is blue with fiery red eyes and he often wears a necklace made of demon skulls that he has killed.

All Festivals

Festivals play a significant role in our day to day lives. We worship different Gods and accordingly there are different festivals that we celebrate to mark the occasion. Festivals provide us with an opportunity to spend quality time with our family, friends and relatives. There are so many rituals attached to the festivals and this makes the entire concept of celebration of festivals even more colorful & exciting.

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