Medaram Sammakka Saralamma Jatara 2012-Medarama Jatara History, Celebrations

January 24th, 2012| In India.

Medaram Sammakka Saralamma Jatara 2012

Medaram Sammakka Saralamma Jatara

Medaram Sammakka Saralamma Jatara

Medaram Jatara is a religious festival which is celebrated once in two year for four days during January – February.   In 2012 the Jatara begins on 8th February, 2012.   Many tribal people participate in the fair.   People throng Medaram villages which is located in Dandakaranya to have the Darshan of Sammakka and Saralamma.

History of Medaram Jatara

About 6 – 7 centuries ago, some people belonging to Koya tribes were travelling through the forest where they found a little girl playing with the tigers.   They head of tribal group adopted the brave and named her Sammakka. When she grew up, she got married to the head of another village.   She gave birth to a girl who was Saralamma.

At that time Kakatiyas were ruling Andhra and Koya tribes helped them in a war.   After few days there was a severe drought in that area for years and Koyas did not have anything to eat.   Even the Godavari River dried up.   But since the Koya tribe is a tributary to Kakatiyas they were insisted to pay taxes which the tribes could not do.

Angered with this, the Kakatiya emperor sent his forces to collect taxes from Koya tribe forcibly.   Koyas fought with the forces in which many Koya people died.   To resume peace, the Kakatiya chief minister offered to end the war and he promised to make Sammakka chief queen in king’s harem.   Sammakka refused and opted for war to avenge the dead.   The war continued and Sammakka was wounded.   Sammakka promised to protect her people until they remember her and cursed the Kakatiya dynasty.   She then disappeared in to the forest.   When Koyas searched for Sammakka they only found a red ochre box, bangle and pug-marks or tigress.

From that time, they Koyas and other tribes in India are holding a big festival in remembrance of Sammakka and Saralamma which is Medaram Jatara.   There is no idol to worship.   Every year a Koya boy searches in the forest and brings two vermilion caskets that are tied to a piece of bamboo, one representing Sammakka and other her daughter Saralamma.

Medaram Jatara Celebrations

Medaram Jatara begins on the full moon day or Suddha Pournami in the month of Magha.   In 2012, the date is 8th February, 2012.   The deity would be brought from Kannepoyinapalle village.   The deity would be traditionally installed on a platform under a tree.   Animal scarification is done as a part of worship.   Many devotees come dancing ecstatically; they are believed to be processed by the Goddess.   Jaggery and coconut are the main offering to the Goddess.   Few devotees offer Jaggery that equals to their weight.   Shiva Shathi, Lakshmi Devara and Pabba are the ancient practices that can be witnessed at the Jatara.   Shiva Shathi are women possessed by the Goddess.   These go in to trance and childless women come to take the blessings of these women.   The blessing process is referred as pabba.   The heads of children are tonsured.   Young girls are made to offer special prayers to Goddess to get good husbands.

Medaram village becomes the hub of activity during the Sammakka Saralamma Jatara days.   The small village in the forest is visited by lakhs of people.   The inflow of people begins from one week before the Jatara day.   Private and government vehicles are seen transporting huge number of devotees to the site.   Many temporary shops come up around the gadde.   Temporary dwelling also can be seen around the place during the Jatara days.

Medaram Jatara is a state festival of Andhra Pradesh.   People from neighboring states also come to participate in the celebration.   Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh represents the state government in the Jatara.   Government makes arrangements for the Jatara on a large scale.   Many departments such as RTC, railways, health and sanitation make arrangements for the success of the festival.

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