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
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.