Bonalu also knows as Ashada Jatara is one of the biggest festivals of Telangana. Bonalu is a Hindu Festival where Goddess Mahakali is worshiped. It is an annual festival celebrated in the twin cities Hyderabad and Secunderabad and other parts of Telangana state, India. In 2014, The government of Telangana declared Bonalu a state festival. Bonam literally means Meal in Telugu, which is an offering to the Mother Goddess. Womenfolk in the household prepare rice that is cooked along with Milk, Jaggery in a New Earthen or Brass Pot, which is adorned with Neem Leaves, Turmeric, and Vermilion. Women carry these pots on their heads and make an offering of Bonam, including Bangles and Saree to the Mother Goddess at Temples. Bonalu involves worship of Kali in her various forms such Mysamma, Pochamma, Yellamma, Dokkalamma, Pedamma, Poleramma, Ankalamma, Maremma, Nookalamma, etc.
The Bonalu Jathara festival traces its origins back to 1813 when plague disease broke out in Nizam state, the army prayed to Mahankali of Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh and she restored the health of the people soon. In gratitude, they built a replica temple in Secunderabad and offered her Bhojanam which was later termed Bonam. Thence, the tradition of the Bonalu festival has been prevalent. The mythological story says that goddess Mahankali returns to her parental home in Ashada Masam and was offered Bhojanam by her parents. The festival is celebrated on Sundays of 3–4 weeks starting at Golconda fort and later moving through series of the Goddess temples.
Bonalu is celebrated at different sites every week. On the first Sunday, celebrations take place at the Golconda fort. On the second Sunday, devotees go to the Mahakali temple in Secunderabad. On the third Sunday, the celebration of the Maheshwari temple of Lal Darwaza in Hyderabad and AkkannaMadanna temple of Haribowli.