Ujjaini Mahankali Temple – Rich Telangana Culture
The land of Telangana is an important religious center of Southern India. Out of the numerous shrines present in the Hyderabad city, the Ujjaini Mahankali Temple in Secunderabad is one of the most revered.
It is a 198 year old temple, dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Mahankali, the goddess of time and death.
The temple was built by Sri Suriti Appayya, a Secunderabad citizen. Sri Suriti Appaiah was in the Army, and in the year 1813, was sent to the city of Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, as a mason, along with other Army personnel. Right from his childhood, Suriti Appaiah had been a devotee of Goddess Ammavaaru and as a religious person, had the habit of going to the temple every day. While Ujjain, he continued the habit by visiting the famous Mahankali Ujjaini Temple there. Over time, he became a stout follower of the Devi Mahankali. Before leaving Ujjaini, he prostrated to the goddess, thanked her for the successful completion of his mission in the city and prayed to her for a safe return back home. He also made a promise to the goddess to install her idol in his native place, Secunderabad.
It is said that the goddess Mahakali was so pleased with her devotee’s faith and devotion the she blessed Sri Suriti Appayya and bestowed kindness upon him.
In July, 1815, true to his promise, Suriti Appayya installed an idol of the Devi, made of wood at the place where the temple of Ujjaini Mahankali in Secunderabad currently is. He also built a small temple around the idol and named it the Ujjaini Mahankali Temple.
Over a few days, the temple was gradually established, and during the development course, the workers stumbled upon an idol of Goddess Manikyalamma. This very idol is now placed on the right side of Ujjaini Mahankali. Devotees from all over the world now offer their prayers to Goddess Manikyalamma as well. In the year 1864 A.D, the initial wooden statue of Goddess Mahankali was replaced by a black stone statue by Sri Appayya and the two idols of both the Goddesses; Goddess Mahankali and Goddess Manikyalamma were installed in accordance with Hindu shastras and prayers were conducted.
In the years to come, Sri Appayya’s son, Sri Sanjivaiah and his friends collected charity from their villages for the construction of the mandapam in 1900 A.D. In 1947, the state government elected a committee and a brahman, Sri Yendapalli Venkataramaiah was chosen for conducting the prayers and other rituals.
Various festivals are celebrated in the this temple viz, Bonalu Panduga, Ghatothsayam, Kolupu Pothraju Bali, Rangam and Saganamputa. During Bonalu Pandagu, women carry Bonam (a pot with jiggery, rice, milk and curd which is covered with neem leaves and with a diya placed on it.) over their heads and walk towards the temple at dawn.
Bonalu Festival (or Bonalu Jathara) celebrated in Ujjaini Mahankali Temple Secunderabad is also called as Lashkar Bonalu. More than 2 Lakh devotees attend visit this temple on the Bonalu Festival performed in this temple. Potharaju dance at Secunderabad Bonalu Jathara (Lashkar BOnalu) is very famous and being observed by many including all the media channels.
The first Sunday of the month of Ashada, marks the beginning of Ghatothsavam. It is a fifteen day festival in which a ghatam, decorated with flowers goes to every house along with a procession. At the end of the fifteenth day, Kolupu Pothraju Bali is celebrated in which the head of a buffalo is cut in one stroke. But, this practice of animal sacrifice has been prohibited for the last 25 years.
One of the most interesting festivals celebrated is Rangam in which an unmarried woman, standing on a pot prays to the Goddess and is supposedly responded to by the mother Goddess who proclaims the good events which will take place in her life.
Bonalu Jathara at Ujjaini Mahankali Temple is a perfect place of Telangana Culture being followed in its own unique way.
A visit to the Ujjaini temple makes for a Telangana cultural and spiritual experience.
- 1.5 Kms from Secunderabad Railway Station (10-15 min drive by car)
- 10 Kms from MGBS Bus Stop, Hyderabad ( 40-45 min drive by car)
Public Transport to Ujjaini Mahankali Temple:
- Buses from Secunderabad – 10H, 49A, 49M, 40
- Buses from MGBS Bus Stop, Hyderabad – 7Z, 8A, 45K, 45F
Location : General Bazar, Kalasiguda, Secunderabad
Best Time to visit: During Bonalu Jathara in Ashada Masam of Hindu Calender.
Neary by Tourist Attractions:
- General Bazar shopping
- Ganesh Temple near Secunderabad Railway Station
Ujjaini Mahankali Temple Timings:
- On all days : Open from 6:00 am to 12 pm, 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
- On Bonalu Jathara day: Darshanam starts from 4:00am in the morning
Address: Sri Ujjaini Mahakali Temple, General Bazar, Secunderabad – 500003
Ujjaini Mahankali Temple Contact Number: 040 2781 4744