Pomp and gaiety marked celebrations of Bonalu festival in the city today. The main festival was being held at the historic Akkanna Madanna Mahankali temple at Hari Bowli and the famous Lal Darwaza temple and several temples in the Old City. Thousands of devotees thronged the temples. TRS Nizamabad MP K Kavitha offered 'bonam' at Simhavahini temple at Lal Darwaza while Telangana Home Minister N Narasimha Reddy along with Endowments Minister, Indrakaran Reddy offered prayers at Borabanda temple. Colourful ghatam processions were being taken out in different areas of the city as part of the festivities. Police made elaborate security arrangements at major temples, including Lal Darwaza and were monitoring through hundreds of CCTV cameras installed. The offering of Bonalu commenced early in the day and the festivities will conclude tomorrow with Mahankali jathara. In order to facilitate proper control and regulation of traffic in connection with Bonalu processions in different areas, the Hyderabad Police has imposed traffic restrictions for today and tomorrow on certain routes. 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 thanks giving to Goddess Mahankali for fulfilment of vows, and involves worship of the goddess and her various forms. Women, attired in colourful robes, carry the 'Bonalu' (decorated pots containing cooked rice mixed with jaggery and curd) on their heads to the temple for offering them to the Goddess. Bonalu is celebrated to ward off diseases and usher in good health, peace and prosperity.
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