Hyderabad, July 11 (PTI) The annual 'Ashada Bonalu' festival commenced on Sundaywith hundreds of devotees thronging the Goddess Jagadamba temple atop the historical Golconda fort here.
Telangana Ministers Allola Indra Karan Reddy and Talasani Srinivas Yadav were among those who took part and offered prayers.
A large number of women devotees offered 'bonam' (rice, cooked along with milk and jaggery)to the goddess.
The 'bonalu' festival is celebrated usually during the Hindu calendar month of 'Ashada' that falls in July and August.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Union Minister of Culture, Tourism G Kishan Reddy extended their greetings to the people on account of commencement of the festival.
The Telangana government has sanctioned Rs15 crore for conducting the Bonalu festival.
Necessary arrangementswere made so that the festival is celebrated in strict complaince of COVID-19 guidelines.
The Telangana government has accorded status of 'state festival' to Bonalu after the formation of the new state in June 2014.
Bonalu is an annual festival celebrated in twin cities of Hyderabad, Secunderabad and parts of Telangana as a thanksgiving to Goddess for fulfilment of vows, and involves worship of the goddess and her various forms.
Bonalu is celebrated to ward off diseases and usher in good health, peace and prosperity. PTI VVK ROH ROH