The Lashkar Bonalu festival was celebrated with joy and enthusiasm at Sri Ujjaini Mahankali Mata temple in Hyderabad. The festival began on Sunday with Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao offering silk clothes to the goddess on behalf of the state government. In the evening, BJP national president J P Nadda also visited the temple and offered prayers. Thousands of women, dressed in traditional saris, marched towards the temple carrying pots adorned with neem leaves, turmeric vermilion, and a lamp. This year, there were more devotees compared to the previous two years. Potharajus danced to the tunes of the special teen mar band, making it a highlight of the festival. The temple also saw the presence of various VIPs including Haryana Governor Bandaru Dattatraya, BJP state president G Kishan Reddy, BJP leader Eatala Rajender, and Congress leaders Bhatti Vikramarka, among others.
MLC K Kavitha led a huge rally and offered Bangaru Bonum to Ammavaru. The first Bonum was offered by the family of Animal Husbandry Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav. Throughout the day, processions were held with Shiva Sattulu, Jogini, and Potharajus dancing to the teen mar tunes. People of all ages gathered on the streets leading to the temple to witness these grand processions.
To ensure a smooth darshan experience, the Endowments department made elaborate arrangements, including different queue lines and a separate line for women carrying Bonalu. Around 250 CCTVs were installed for security purposes, and 2,500 police personnel were deployed to ensure the safety of the devotees. The temple premises were beautifully decorated with various flowers.
However, despite these arrangements, devotees faced inconvenience as VIPs visited the temple during peak hours. Women expressed their unhappiness with this practice, as they had to stand in queues with the Bonum on their heads for up to two hours. They also mentioned the lack of drinking water facilities. Some suggested that a separate time should be fixed for VIPs to visit the temple so that common devotees do not suffer.
The festival will conclude with an important event called Rangam on Monday, which will be held in the temple premises. A big procession will mark the end of the two-day festival.