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       Chali Bonalu
Bonalu is a famous festival of Andhra Pradesh which is especially celebrated with great aplomb in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. The term Bonalu comes form “Bhojanalu” or food offering which is made to the Goddess Mahakali. The festival Bonalu is celebrated in the Ashada masam( July to August). During this festival women dress colorfully and perform a dance balancing exquisitely painted. Hanuman
pots on their head. These women dance along with the
mellifluous beats of the tunes sung in the praise of Goddess Mahakali. In these pots usually an offering for Goddess Mahakali is taken which includes cooked rice, water and sometimes pickles and onions. Male dancers follow their female counterparts in the dance procession to the temple and they are accompanied by blaring trumpets and pulsating percussions. The women folk are preceeded by 'Potharajus” who is believed to be initiator of the festivities and protector of the village.
This site is a power house of information on Bonalu. This site outlines the origin of the term from the word 'bhojanalu' or food offering to the mother Goddess. It then faithfully chronicles all the rituals involved in the Bonalu festival. The pujari or the priest carrying the image of the Goddess (ghatam) arrives at a particular locality. The arrival of the image of the Goddess sets the pace of the dance procession in the locality. It becomes a community dance participated only by the male members usually while the women carry 'Bonalu' or offering in brightly painted vessels with flames burning on them. These pots are usually colored in scared colors of yellow, white and red. They over all mood is one of celebration and religious jubilation. Potharuju is a chief conductor of the celebrations and he always dances before the procession starts.
Pothuraju

Potharaju, the brother of Mother Goddess, is represented in the procession by a well-built, bare-bodied man, wearing a small tightly draped red dhoti and bells on his ankles, and anointed with turmeric on his body and vermilion on his forehead. He dances to resounding drums.

He always dances before the Palaharam Bandi, the procession. He is considered the initiator of the festivities and the protector of the community. He leads the tranced
Hanuman
female dancers who are under spell of the Mother Goddess (known as shigam) to the temple, with lashing whips and emerald neem leaves (margosa) tied around their waists, accompanied by trumpets and drums.

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