Sri Ujjaini Mahankali Temple: Carrying the legacy forward
Suriti Kameshwar, the seventh generation of the trustees of Sri Ujjaini Mahankali Temple in Secunderabad, the centre stage for the Bonalu Jatara...
Suriti Kameshwar, the seventh generation of the trustees of Sri Ujjaini Mahankali Temple in Secunderabad, the centre stage for the Bonalu Jatara shared the history of the legendary temple – The temple was built in 1815 by a soldier in the then British army Suriti Appayya Mudiraj. After his return from Madhya Pradesh where he visited the Shaktipeeth in Ujjain and became an ardent devotee of Gad Kali, he recreated the image of the deity in wood, which was consecrated at what is today popular as Ujjain Mahankali temple in Lashkar (Secunderabad).
The festival is unique in many ways. Especially it is the most unifying in its nature where people from different castes and creeds (42 communities) enter the temple and perform the rituals. “Suriti Appayya was extremely progressive in his view of oneness of humanity back in the 19th century itself. People from every section of the society were allowed to perform the puja. On one of the important rituals is Ghatam where the Goddess goes to the people. Presenting Bonam is also an exclusive feature of the festival,” Suriti Kameshwar shares.
The family leaves no stone unturned to make it an extravagant affair and the age-old rituals are performed with dedication. This year the family is planning to present Bangaru Bonam and has decided that the honour to offer it to the deity should be given to the Chief Minister and the leader who made the dream of a separate State come true, K Chandrasekhar Rao.
“He is taking the State on the path of realisation of Bangaru Telangana (Golden Telangana). It is only right for him to carry it and hence we have requested him. We also appeal to him to increase the funds towards the State festival so that we can give better amenities to the ever-increasing devotees. Last year we were given Rs 5 lakh, and we are hoping it is increased to at least 25 lakh,” he relates.
Meanwhile, the temple is decked with the hues of yellow marigolds, and the buzz of the devotees has begun, as Goddess in all her resplendence offers her blessings to the thousands of devotees who come to her with their prayers and wishes.