Ujjaini Mahankali Temple is a highly revered shrine located in Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Built in 1815 by Sri Suriti Appayya, a resident of Secunderabad, the temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali. The original idol was a wooden statue later replaced with a marble statue and re-consecrated in 1964. The annual Bonalu Festival celebrated amidst much pomp and splendor is a major draw. This temple is very famous as Goddess Kanakadurga at Vijayawada , Goddess Bhadrakali at Warrangal etc. Itrs is visited and prayers offered to the Goddess by unending large number of devotees everyday. There is no doubt about granting the wishes of devotees by the Goddess and devotees fulfilling the vows.
Sri Suriti Appaiah was an army man who was in the year of 1813 A.D., along with other army personnel, sent to Ujjain as mason. As from childwood days he was very devotee of Ammavaaru (Goddess), he had the habit of visiting temple everyday and he used to visit Ujjaini Mahankali Temple regularly with utmost devotion during the entire period of his stay at Ujjain. And very soon Sri Appaiah became an ardent devotee of the powerful Goddess at Ujjain. On one day he has prostrated at her feet and offered prayers expressing gratitude for success of their mission to Ujjain and for showing the way for return journey, also prayed in many respects and expressed his wish that her idol will be installed at Secunderabad for offering prayers forever. All of them returned to Secunderabad from Ujjain after the Goddess felt happy and blessed Sri Appaiah for his selfless devotion. She also bestowed kindness on him.
In the month of July 1815, Sri Appaiah installed an idol made of wood at the place where the present temple is existing and conducting pujas. He built a small temple for the idol and named as Ujjain Mahankali. As SriRama temple at Bhadrachalam is symbol of devotion of devotee Sriramadasu of those days, this temple is also a symbol of devotion of Sri Suriti Appaiah resident of secmunderabad. Except this there is no other historical record about the existsence of this temple.
As the days passed the temple was developed bit by bit. One day while digging near the main temple as in the part of development of the temple, an idol of Goddess Manikyalamma was found. The same idol can be seen today in the sanctorum of the temple towards Ujjaini Mahankali’s right side. Since that day the devotees have been affering their prayers to Goddess Manikyalamma also and being grantted the wishes by the Goddess and devotees fulfilling the vows. In the year 1864 A.D Sri Appaiah replaced wooden idol with that of a statue of black stone and installed (pratishtapana) the two idols of Goddesses Mahankali and Mnikyalamma prana pratista was performed as per the Hindu sastras and relevant pujas. Later, Sri Sanjivaiah the son of Sri Appaiah collected some amounts in his village along with his friends and got constructed the mandapam in the year 1900 A.D.
In the year 1947 A.D the endowment department of the then state Government constituted a committee and arranged a Brahman, Sri Yendapalli Venkataramaiah for the purpose of conducting rituals to the Goddesses. In the year 1953 A.D endowment department of the then state Government arranged board of trustees though the first founder was Sri Appaiah and the family members of the army bearers also involved in the establishment of the Ujjaini Mahankali temple.
1. Bonalu Panduga
As always, the Ujjaini Mahankali temple in General Bazar see the maximum turnout of devotees (citizens and VVIPs). At the centuries-old Ujjaini Mahankali temple, women starts filing in from 5 am itself with the bonam,(a pot carrying rice, jaggery, milk and curd and covered with neem leaves and a lamp placed on it) on their heads. The temple is also decked up for the festival with special illumination. The lanes and bylanes of Secunderabad are filled with processions of devotees with bonam on their heads to offer to the Goddess. Devotees from surrounding districts and ohter states too visited the temple and offered prayers. After the Lashkar Bonalu at the Mahankali temple, the celebrations will move to the Old City and other areas of the city. Lashkar Bonalu is celebrated with thousands of devotees, especially women in their traditional attire, offering bonam to Goddess Mahankali, at Secunderabad.
In the month of Ashada on first Sunday this celebration will begin. At the Karbala Maidan Ghatam is decorated with flowers etc and then brought in a procession with music and band in the manner of Vampuja for the Goddess similar to a bridegroom’s procession. This is called Yedorkolupu. On reaching, the Ghatam is kept in the temple. From the next day onwards, the Ghatam goes to every house, dwelling of each street for fifteen days with a small procession with music and mangal vadyam.
3.Kolupu Potharaju Bali:
Kolupu takes place on completion of 15 days. This is conducted on Sunday. In olden days animal sacrifice was made as a custom for Goddess. At one stroke the of the buffalo was cut and fell down. This separated head was kept on the head of a person and went round the temple scattering the bali samagri dancing, jumping, displaying the skill of a potharaju. The entire site was very beautiful to look at when making rounds of the temple. But recently since, 25 years the animal sacrifice is prohibited, in its place Kushmanda Bali (Gummadikaya Bali) is being done as per the traditional procedure. As per the greatness of Goddess animal sacrifice was done in unlimited number and blood flowed down in various directions. The same night rain would fall and the entire area spread with blood is washed away and the premises got cleaned. (Even today on the day of Jatara rain falls).
Rangam is worth witnessing during the period of Ammavari Jatara. Inside the temple in front of the Goddess an unmarried woman stand on a unburnt pot looking at the idol with utmost devotion and prayers. The mother Goddess immediately responds and pronounce the good events going to take place in the coming year. Thousands of devotees gather near the temple and hear the Rangam with apt attention.
On Monday the Ghatam is bid farewell with great pomp and show in a procession. At Mettuguda the decoration of the Ghatam is taken away. People who join the Jatara experience in their as a memorable event for ever.