Hyderabad: The only temple in the city to celebrate a three-day Bonalu, the Sri Mahankali Temple in Karkhana, will begin its celebrations on the second Saturday in August, keeping a tradition that has been followed since the 1900s, according to temple authorities.
Talk to Deccan Chronicle, treasurer of the Vivek Chintu temple, said the temple, built in the early 1900s and registered in 1938, started as a small establishment. “It was renovated around 1998 by the then temple committee and the wooden idol was replaced with a stone one. This year was significant as the temple witnessed a renovation, an expansion and scaling up,” he said.
“The committee, which changes every 3 to 5 years, ensures that the premises are equipped to take care of all the necessary arrangements. Over the past few years, Shivalayam, Gaushala, Hanuman, Chowdeshwari and Navagraha temple have been established, all thanks to donations,” Chintu said.
The temple has four priests, a president, P. Rama Rao, and a R. Jagath Singh as trustees. Among the priests, P. Raju is an organizer, while Ashok, Ravi and Deepak are social workers, Chintu said.
Explaining the three-day festivities, temple elders said the preparation of ‘Gattam’ followed by pujas and celebrations starting at 5 a.m. signifies its start and it continues until 3 a.m. on Monday, when it ends with Panchi Kunda, Rangam, Pothuraju and other activities.
“The Bonalu witnesses a crowd of 3,000 worshipers from all over Secunderabad and adjoining areas. Another significance of this particular temple is that we also worship seven ammavaru by cutting down a tree and making idols out of it,” an elder from the temple said.
Apart from Bonalu, every Friday and Monday, we come to do the Kumkumarchana, which takes place between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. “We also perform Satyanarayana Vratha once a week, every Sunday morning. Interested people can come and sit and listen. Moreover, every fortnight we hold homams and also celebrate Dussehra for nine days, along with Bathukamma,” the elder said.
The elder said, “We also have a brass Durgamatha idol. Other important festivals for this temple are Diwali, Shivratri, Pongal and Hanuman Jayanti at Hanuman Temple, which was built three years ago, which also attracts huge crowds. In May, we offer a ragi millet drink to our devotees and three times a year, the annadanam is made with 300 kilos of rice in front of the temple.