The Telugu month of Ashadam has commenced on 20th June 2012 and with that; the month long festivities of Bonalu have started on 22nd June, in the Twin Cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. The most prominent of these festivities, the Ujjaini Mahankali Jatara at Secunderabad, also known as Bonalu festival or Lashkar Bonalu is on 8th and 9th July. I have earlier posted two detailed articles with a number of photographs on these festivities, which you may reach by clicking on the following links:
Ghatothsavam is an important ritual of this festival, followed at all the Temples of Mahankali and her sisters Pochamma, Mysamma, Yellamma, Poleramma, Dokkalamma and Peddamma. Ghatam is a Copper Pot decorated in the form of the Goddess with fine clothing and flowers. The Ghatam of the Ujjaini Mahankali Temple is decorated at Karabala Maidan on the banks of Hussain Sagar on the first Sunday of Ashada Masam and brought in a procession to the accompaniment of Mangala Vaidhyam and kept at the Temple at General Bazaar. This ritual is called Ghatothsavam and is carried out at all Temples of the Goddesses mentioned above. Starting from the next day, every day the decorated Ghatam is carried by a priest smeared in turmeric, to the accompaniment of band and Mangala Vaidhyam to every house in the adjoining streets and localities. This is to ward off all evil and illness in these areas and to facilitate Darshan and blessings of the Goddess to everyone at their doorsteps. At the end of the festivities the Ghatam is immersed in water at the nearest lake.
The above pictures are of Pochamma Devi Ghatam at our house today. Pochamma Temple is close to our house at Somasundaram Street and the Ghatam is brought to our house once every year, since decades. In the above pictures you will notice that the tired priest is taking a break and his assistant is carrying the Ghatam!