Everything that's of any significance in Hyderabad usually has its roots in a legend that's at least a few hundred years old. So is the case with Bonalu — the colourful folk festival that embodies all things Telangana.
legend has it that once upon a time, much before the Muslim rulers eyed Deccan; or the Qutb Shahis made Golconda their seat of power; or the Nizams of the Asif Jahi Dynasty ruled over Hyderabad; the hill where the the ruins of the Golconda Fort stand today was merely wastelands where shepherds grazed their sheep. Ergo, 'Golla Konda' or 'Shepherd's Hill'. over a period of time, after the region came under the suzerainty of Muslim rulers, it came to be known as 'Golconda'.
Curiously, even after the Muslims took over power in these regions, the Jagadamba Mahakali temple atop the Golconda hill, was left untouched.
The locals believed that the city would expand as far as the gaze of the Mother Goddess goes from atop that hill. The idol of the goddess at this temple is said to have been consecrated more than 800 years ago; and it's to her that the first bonam is offered on the first Sunday of the 'Ashadam month' to kickstart the festival of Bonalu. The month-long festival also concludes at the Golconda temple.