Congress leader Rahul Gandhi recently joined the Budaga Jangalu community of Telangana and whipped himself as part of the ‘Potharajulu’ tradition. The custom is part of the state’s acclaimed Bonalu festival.

 

About ‘Bonalu’

  • Bonalu is a Hindu Festival where Goddess Mahakali is worshiped.
  • It is an annual festival celebrated in the twin Cities Hyderabad and Secunderabad and other parts of Telangana state, India.
  • Bonalu is celebrated usually during Ashada Masam that falls in July/August.
  • Special poojas are performed for goddess Yellamma during the first and last day of the festival.
  • The festival is considered as a form of thanksgiving to the Goddess after the fulfillment of vows.
  • Bonam literally means Meal in Telugu, which is an offering to the Mother Goddess.

 

How is it celebrated?

Every year, the festival starts at Golconda Fort, and on the second Sunday, it moves to the Balkampet Yellamma temple in Balkampet, and the Ujjaini Mahakali Temple in Secunderabad. On the third Sunday, it moves to the Pochamma and Katta Maisamma temple of Chilkalguda and the Mateshwari temple of Lal Darwaza in Hyderabad.