The Goddess of Power

July 26, 2011


Bonalu is an eleven day traditional Hindu folk festival to honour the Hindu Goddess MahaKali. The festival originates in the Telangana region in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

MahaKali – who has many arms that wield weapons showing her power – is honoured mostly by women, who bring offerings of food and dancing. Men also participate in the festivities: male artists wear make-up and dresses to look like the Hindu God Hanuman and MahaKali herself. A couple of dwarf artists can also be seen in the pictures dressed as Potharaju, who is the brother of the Goddess.

The Goddess travels in the final procession in a goat-drawn chariot while all the participants and artists rally around her, putting on a brilliant display with color, fire and festivity. - Photos by agencies