Old Hyderabad lights up with Lal Darwaza Bonalu – Times of India
HYDERABAD: The lanes and bylanes of Old City came alive as the famous Lal Darwaza Bonalu kicked off early on Sunday. All roads leading to 115-year-old Sri Simhavahini Mahankali temple were decorated with festoons, streamers and colourful LED lights.
Thousands of devotees were seen queuing up at the temples in the old city since early morning to offer ‘Bonum’, containing cooked rice, jaggery, curd and neem leaves to Goddess Mahankali. VIPs also visited the temple in the wee hours of Sunday.
Smeared with turmeric and vermilion, potharajus danced to rhythmic drum beats during the processions.
Darshan commenced at 3 am after a special puja and continued late into the night as lakhs of devotees participated in Bonalu.
Women stood in the long serpentine queues for hours together, carrying the traditional Bonam on their heads from the wee hours on Sunday. It took three to four hours for the devotees to get darshan of Goddess Mahankali due to the unprecedented rush and the flow of VVIPs. “By 7 pm, over three lakh devotees had darshan and offered Bonams. Over a lakh of devotees are waiting in the queue,” temple management told TOI.
Animal husbandry minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav along with other cabinet ministers offered ‘Bangaru Bonam’ and silk robes to the deity on behalf of the state government. The ministers performed ‘Kalyanam’ at the temple premises, for the wellbeing of Telangana people.
Ace badminton player PV Sindhu also participated in the festivities at Lal Darwaza temple. She offered the Bonum in a gold vessel to the deity in a traditional manner. Sindhu told reporters that she is feeling happy to participate in the celebrations this year and will visit the temple every year during Bonalu. Telangana high court judge Justice Surepalli Nanda also visited the Lal Darwaza temple. She said the festival reflects unique culture and traditions of Telangana. The judge also visited other temples in Old City and offered prayers.
This apart, leaders from ruling TRS and other parties also visited the temple.
The festival will conclude on Monday with the famous ‘Rangam’ — predictions about the state’s future — followed by a procession of a caparisoned elephant.
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