About Ujjaini Mahakali
Ujjaini Mahakali Temple is located in Secunderabad.One very important celebration is the Ashada Jathara, starting on 20th July of every year. This is popularly known as 'Bonalu'. On the first day, the Goddess is placed on a pot and taken to each and every house in the area to enable even the old and the handicapped to get a view of the deity.
On the first day of the Jathara, women take headbath and wear festive clothes. Food (bonam) is cooked as per the pledge taken by them. It is placed in a vessel decorated with neem leaves and a Jyothi (an oil lamp in a shallow earthen dish) on top. Women go to the temple carrying it on their heads and offer the bonam to the deity. Hence the Jathara acquired the name `Bonalu'- plural of bonam. Some women fill the vessels with water mixed with turmeric powder and offer it to the Goddess along with neem branches. This is called `Saka'.
People make choicest of eatables as an offering to the deity. Outstation people come on decorated carts to make their offerings to the Goddess. During the Jathara week the city wears a festive look. Here and there one comes across `Potharajus' (men), with turmeric powder paste smeared all over their body, holding a yellow lemon between the teeth, sporting black mascara for the eyes and a big red dot on the forehead, wearing anklets with bells on the ankles dancing to the sound of heavy drum beats. Thousands of these Potharajus literally dance their way to the temple followed by thousands of cheering people. All these processions culminating at the temple is a sight worth watching.
The second day's festivities are called `Rangam' or stage festivities. In the sanctum sanctorum, a twenty seven - year old unmarried girl, standing on a raw pot in front of the idol looking straight into the Goddess' eyes, is possessed by Mahakali, portends the general trend of things to come and important events. Large number of people gather to witness this event which starts early in the morning and continues till 8.30 A.M.. After this she goes to many other temples and repeats this prophesy. Whoever does this `Rangam' act remains unmarried for life.
A little later, two Potharajus dancing ferociously to the heavy drum beats go round the temple. Many devotees gather to witness this. Around 10 A.M. a heavily decorated Mahakali's photo placed on an elephant accompanied by music band is first taken around the temple and later through the streets of the city. It is accompanied by the Potharajus and lots of devotees.
History of Ujjaini Mahakali
As the legend goes, in 1813 Surabhi Appa Rao of Secunderabad, working in the military was transferred to Ujjain. When cholera broke out there, he went with his friends to a Mahakali temple and prayed to the Goddess to save the people from the epidemic, pledging to build a temple in Secunderabad in Her name. Cholera abated and thousands of people were saved due to the grace of the Goddess.
Three years later, Surabhi Appayya and his friends kept their pledge by installing a woodden statue of Mahakali, where the present temple is situated, with pooja facilities provided for. As per the story, the present bustling place was once a thick dense forest with mountains. There was a big well in the area and while they were getting it repaired, an idol of Manikyala Devi was found, which was installed in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple to the right of Mahakali.In 1864 the woodden idols were replaced with the present statues and regularly worshipped ever since. The temple was taken over by the Endowments Department in 1953 and many events are celebrated there.