The "Sammakka Saralamma Jatara", is the most awaited and largest Tribal Fair of the nation, which is celebrated to honour the Goddesses in Telangana State of India. This Jatara begins at Medaram in Tadvai mandal in Jayashankar Bhupalpally district of Telangana. The priests of the shrine decide theschedule of this fair when to be held and till which date. Present year (2018) it is sheduled to be held from 31st January to 3rd February, altogether a celebration of 4 days.
Shrine of Sammakka Saralamma Jatara Telangana
Everytime it attracts lakhs of devotees from far-off places in the country, including Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. This year (2018), about one crore 20 lakh people are expected to gather, which is the largest tribal congregation in the world.
History of this Festival:
It is celebrated by Tribal people of Telangana in honour of their Goddesses Sammakka and Saralamma ( a mother and a daughter), who fought as reigning rulers against an unjust law. The locals believe that these Goddesses visit them during these 4 days.
There are many Great Legends associated with the miraculous powers of Goddess Sammakka...!
According to one legend, it is said that during13th century, when some tribal leaders went for hunting they found a new born baby girl (Sammakka) who was emitting enormous light playing amidst the tigers. She was taken to their tribe, and adopted by the head of the tribe. She was then brought up as a chief of their tribe and later became the saviour of these tribals. After sometime, She was married to Pagididda Raju, who was Kakatiyas feudatory tribal chief (ruled the country of Telugus from Warangal City between 1000 AD and 1380 AD). After sometime the couple was blessed with 2 daughters and one son namely Sarakka,
Nagulamma and Jampanna.
Goddesses of Medaram Jatara Telangana
It is a "Biennial Festival" held for every two years, with ten million people visiting to take part in this festival from different states namely Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and parts of Jharkhand, held on these 4 days.
Offering to Deity:
Devotees visiting this place offer "Bellam" (Jaggery) to these Goddesses, equivalent to their body weight and take holy dip in Jampanna Vagu (water stream).
Offering Jaggery to these Goddesses
Significance of this Festival:
The Sammakka Saralamma Jatara in Medaram of Jayashankar Bhupalapally district is considered as 'Mini Kumbh Mela'. Its a 4 days celebration starting from January 31st till- February 3rd without any vedic or brahmanic influence.
Telangana Kumbhamela Medaram Jatara
The Jampanna Vagu is of great significance as it is named after the Sammakka son, who died while fighting against Kakatiyan Army in that stream. The water body is visible in red color even today which wasmarked with the blood of Jampanna ( scientifically the water gets color from its soil). Thus, it reminds devotees about the sacrifice of these gods who saved them and also induces courage into their souls.
Medaram Jampanna Vagu
There is a bridge constructed on top of this Jampanna Vagu, and it is known as Jampanna Vagu Bridge.
Celebrations of this Festival:
This festival is being organised for the second time on large scale after the formation of Telangana State, the first was celebrated in 2016, with special attention by the government and has greater significance. Recently, this Jatara got recognition as State Festival.
The Endowments Minister and State MPs with Union Tribal Affairs Minister has declared "Sammakka Saralamma Jatara", as the Asia’s Biggest Tribal Festival to be held in the state every year, and also consider it as our
Other Arrangements for this Festival:
The State Government is taking initiation to elaborate arrangements for this festival. The Tourism Department and Tribal Welfare Minister has taken necessary arrangements to meet the requirements of the devotees. They had arranged luxury tents to accomodate the devotees with all modern amenities.
These tents are going to be managed by a private organisation and manned by tribal youth who will be available on hourly and also on daily basis. These tents can be booked online. "If successful, these tents will be continued in future by the Tourism Department to attract tribal lovers and adventure tourists to the jungles of Eturnagaram on a regular scale". These tents are priced around Rs 2,000 for 24 hours and Rs 1,000 for 12 hours. People can also pay through Paytm. For each 10 tents there is mobile toilet facility along with a security men.
Thus it is 'Asia’s Largest Tribal Congregation' and stringent security arrangements are made in the wake of the ongoing rift between Lambada and Adivasi communities. A special control room is being established to monitor the proceedings using closed circuit television cameras and prevent any untoward incidents at the venue.
Eco Tourism Contact No: 9553142346 ( for booking of these forest department’s tents)
How to Reach: This Jatara venue is located around 100 km from Warangal, 124 km from Godavarikhani, 220 km from Suryapet and 250 km from Hyderabad.
By Road: Local means of transport are the best way to reach this Jatara. There are a number of TSRTC and APSRTC buses available to reach this destination.
By Train: Warangal Railway station is the nearest railway station to this Jatara.
By Air: Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad is the nearest airport to this Jatara.
Image Courtesy: medaramjatara.com, thewire.in, teluguone.com, warangalonline.in, indiamandirs.blogspot.com