Celebrations saw brief tense moments as devotees raised slogans against ‘VIPs’ visits due to which they were made to wait for long time

Bonalu in Secunderabad started off on a colourful note on Sunday with temples in the nook and corner here wearing a festive look for the annual event.

Temples started receiving devotees from early hours with Sri Ujjaini Mahankali Temple being the centre of celebrations with devotees converging in large numbers.

The ritual pujas started off on the morning and some of the early visitors were Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu. Women devotees came to the temple from different corners of the city carrying their offerings, ‘Bonam’, accompanied by the traditional ‘Potharaju’ and the attendant gaiety.

Traffic restrictions were imposed around all the roads through which temple could be approached and the whole area started to teem with devotees, processions and small time vendors selling different curiosities. Police maintained a strict vigil around the whole area to avoid any untoward incident.

Celebrations, however, saw brief moments of tension when devotees raised slogans against the visits of ‘VIPs’ due to which they were made to wait for longer time.

“Each VIP comes with at least 40 attendants and due to their visit we are being forced to wait for long. These VIPs do not have consideration for us,” an angry devotee complained.

The event also proved to be an attraction to the shutter bugs, both professional and amateur. Armed with professional digital SLR cameras, a host of them were seen capturing each colourful aspect of the event.

“With so many vibrant colours being splashed across, no photographer can resist the temptation to capture them,” Abhishek Kumar, an enthusiast observed. Apart from professionals, people too took out their mobile phones to capture the event.

Despite APSRTC running 30 special buses on 18 routes, almost all buses going towards the temple were packed to their capacities forcing many to engage the services of autorickshaws.

Procession begins in old city

A grand procession started from Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Shahalibanda on Sunday evening. The procession had ‘ghatams’ from 13 temples, including Akkanna Madanna temple and Sri Simhavahini Mahankali temple in Lal Darwaza. The ‘ghatams’ will return to their respective temples and Bonalu festival will start in old city on August 4.

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