Bonalu in Hyderabad Telangana – HiStory Bonam Ghatam Rangam & Bonalu Songs

bonalu hyderabad telangana


Bonalu is a annual thanks giving festival to the Goddess YELLAMMA(Balkampet Yellama Temple,Hyderabad(Regional Names (Mysamma, Pochamma, Yellamma, Peddhamma, Dokkalamma, Ankalamma, Poleramma, Maremma, Nookalamma)))for fulfillment of vows and A Special Dance that originated from Telangana to honour the Mother Goddess.

The Bonalu Dance origins from the ritual of paying homage to Mother Goddess for a good harvest and dancing to honour her.

Hyderabad BOANALU, Telangana India 

Bonalu 2018 in Telangana will begin on

Sunday, 15 July(First at Golconda Bonalu )

and ends on Sunday, 5 August

Bonalu in Telangana

The history of this festival dates back to 1813 in the region of Hyderabad & Secunderabad. Twin Cities were facing a huge plague disease that had taken  thousands of lives In the state then.

Bonam Rakesh Anna Golconda
Rakesh Bonam Anna at Golconda Fort – Golconda Bonalu 2018


Then military battalion was deployed in Ujjain ( near Madhya Pradesh ) to take action in the plague affected area.

As the days were passing the death toll was also increasing. Seeing the epidemic, military battalion offered prayers to goddess Mahakali. And to build a temple in Secunderabad region yo goddess Mahakali if people got rid of dangerous plague.

It is believed that when the Military placed an idol in Secunderabad, the spread of plague was ceased. In this honour to goddess Mahakali Bonalu is celebrated in Telangana regions.


Bonalu Ritual – The Annual State Festival of Telangana

On the very first Sunday of Aashadham, Bonalu celebrations are held at Golconda Fort temple, Telangana. And is celebrated in many parts of twin cities.

And it is celebrated at  Balkampet Yellamma temple in Balkampet and Ujjaini Mahakali Temple in Secunderabad on second sunday. It is also celebrated at The pochamma and katta maisamma temple of chilkalguda and the Matheswari temple of Lal Darwaza on third sunday.

bonalu festival ritual

Akkanna Madanna temple and Muthyalamma are also famous for Bonalu celebrations in Hyderabad. Lakhs of Mahakali devotees gather up to pay homage to goddess Mahakali.

On this special and auspicious occasion women dress up in the traditional Sari with splendid jewels and Teenage Girls wear Half-Sarees ( Lehenga Choli ) with appealing jewellery bringing out the traditional grace of the attire.Women also dance with balancing Bonam ( pots ), to the musical beats of drums in honour of the Goddess.

The festival starts from Golconda. Women who carry Bonalu ( pots ) are believed to possess the holy spirit of Goddess Mahakali. As they go towards the temple, people pour water on their feet to smooth over the spirit as by goddess is believed to be aggressive by nature.


Potharaju Bonalu

Potharaju is brother of Goddess Mahankali. And is often represented by well-built, bare-bodied man. He wears a small and tightly draped red dhoti and bells over his ankles. And turmeric is rubbed allover on his body and vermilion on his forehead. He dances to rhythm of resounding drums.

potharaju dance bonalu - potharaju

He leads the tranced female dancers who carry Bonam in honour of the Mother Goddess (known as shigam) in to the temple, with lashing whips on their body and emerald neem leaves (margosa) tied around their waists, escorted by trumpets and drums.


Rangam Part In Bonalu

Rangam or Performing the Oracle is performed on the very next day of the festival.

rangam bonalu

Women invokes mother goddess onto herself while standing atop of an earthen pot and performs this custom.

She foretells the future when devotees ask. This oracle telling has been from generations.


Ghatam Part In Bonalu

Ghatam is a copper pot decorated in the form of goddess Mahankali and is carried by the priest.

ghatam bonalu hyderabad bonalu telangana

Priest wears a traditional dhoti and body is fully covered in turmeric. The Ghatam is kept from the first day of the festival. And on the last day the Ghatam accompanying by drums is immersed in water.

The festival ends in the evening after immersing the Ghatams in water.

Usually its done in nayapul, Hyderabad. Ghatams everywhere from popular temples of twin cities gather there and merged.

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