Bonalu a short form for Bhojanalu which means "MEALS", is a ritual offering of meals to the mother Goddess. This is a festival of Telangana region in Andhra Pradesh. The Festival is celebrated during the month of ASHADA (July to August) in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad and surrounding villages.

This festival is believed to have begun in 1869 when a huge epidemic of plague broke in the twin cities. The people wanted to appease Mother Goddess whose ire was considered to be the cause for the epidemic.

Meal offering is a typical Mother Goddess worshipping ritual of South India. This meal consists of taking cooked rice, water, sometimes pickles and onion in different pots kept as a pattern of smaller over the bigger ones with a lamp at the top. Usually this vertical Battery of pots decorated in sacred colours (White, Yellow and Red). This colours are called as PASUPU, KUNKUM, and KADI.

The pots, ritually dedicated to the goddess before they are lifted on to the heads of the women carrying them, are considered to have got charged with the spirit of Goddess. So as soon as the woman who puts the pots on her head, she gets possessed immediately by the spirit of the Goddess. This is why the women offers water at the feet of the Goddess as a pacification while carrying the pots in a procession starting from her house to the shrine. This woman walks with a intense feeling of being possessed by the spirit of the Goddess. Because of this mood in her, she easily gets into a trance and begins to dance rhythmically in tune with the drum beat.

POTHARAJU is considered to be the brother of mother goddess, who always dances before the Palaharam Bandi taken on to the streets of Ashadam.


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Folk Dances of Andhra Pradesh, India
Bonalu ssssssssss Dappu ssssssssss Dhimsa ssssssssss Garagalu ssssssssss KarshakaNrityam
Koya ssssssssss Kollatum ssssssssss Lambadi ssssssssss  Mathuri  ssssssssss Pulivesham


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