Sammakka Sarakka is a gigantic spiritual festival of the tribal people which receives International acclaim. It is the world’s largest religious congregation festival after Khumb Mela. This festival represents the life styles of tribal community. Sammakka Sarakka jatara is celebrated grandly by millions of devotees through out the country. Huge number of pilgrims come from far away places to seek the blessings of two tribal dieties. Medaram is a village in the Dandakaaranya forest of Warangal district. This auspicious festival is celebrated largely once in 2 years for 4 days in Telangana. In adittion to it few places in Telangana region such as Rekurthi, Chintakunta villages in Karimnagar, Obulapur in SircIlla mandal ,Godavarikhani, Bheemadevapally and Husnabad mandals here the people in huge number perform the festival traditions and culture . People from Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Maharashtra also participate in the rituals of this auspicious festival .
A group of Koya tribal people were wandering in the forest there they have found a little girl playing with the tigers. The head of the tribe felt pity upon her and adopted as his daughter, he later named her as” Sammakka” afterwards she became the savior for the tribes. She got married to Pagididda Raju who worked as a ( tribal chief of the Kakatiya Dynasty). She was blessed with three children- Sarakka, Nagulamma, Jampanna. Koya tribes used to work under their leadership. After few days there was a severe drought which prolonged for several years during that devastating period tribal men had no food to consume for survival. They were deeply supressed by the Kakatiyas Supremacy. Due to this negative impact holy river Godavari almost dried up. In this backdrop Kakatiya’s imposed stringent rules on taxation. Kakatiya rulers send a major group of soldiers to revolt against them. Koya Tribe people were severely injured in the battle – field. After that the devotees solmoned for peace and offered Sammakka the role of (chief queen) The Tribal folk refused the deal reluctantly and reverted back to continue the tug of war. Jampana was wounded horribly. She uttered to the Koya tribal people as long as they remember her she would protect them from evil prey. Jampanna was also killed in the river that is why the river is called jampannavagu. After this tragic incident she cursed the Kakatiya rulers to ruin and vanished into deep forest. The tribal people traced for her through out the jungle. At last they found a red achre box, bangles and pug- marks of huge tigress. Later the Muslim invaders demolished the Kakatiya empire. From them onwards the Koyas, Waddaras tribes and castes celebrate this festival in memory of Sammakka and Sarakka.
This time tribal festival is attended by India Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Governor ESL Narasimhan, Telangana CM KCR along with other politicians who greeted this festival. Deputy Cm Kadiyam Srihari, Endowments minister- Indrakaran reddy and Mahabubabad MP Sitaram Naik looked after the arrangements of this national festival.
Telangana Government has released a fund of RS – 87.20 crores to provide basic amenities to the pilgrims who come to visit the jatara and seek the blessings from the Sammakka and Saramma Dieties. They have organised a folk museum, theatre through which folk artists had exhibited their hidden skills. Millions of ardent devotees gets inculcated with the feeling of spirituality and dance vigorously chanting the diety names through out the journey. As per the traditions of the tribal people dieties are installed at an altar under a huge fig tree which is perished over decades.
Tribal dance forms like Dhimsa, Gussadi will be a major attraction in this festival well equipped with various tribal instruments. Apart from it food court is also organised , eco- friendly organic food is supplied to the masses. Youth Organisations have made a provision for mineral water, dressing rooms, tents so that the devotees can enjoyed the comfort zone 24×7. TSRTC operated 6,000 buses to and fro journey for devotees to attend Sammakka Saralamma Jatara. This tribal festival will be conducted between January 31st to 3 of febraury 2018. Ever time approximately 50 lakhs of devotees visit this auspicious festival but now the configuration changed drastically to 70 lakhs. The Government has sanctioned 4 crores fund to make grand arrangements for this spiritual festival. The police department did a fabulous job in discharging their duties, a surveillance of round the clock cams are arranged through out the arena so that there will no hurdles in the jatara. Plenty of ample space is provided for vehicle parkings.
During this festival many animals are sacrified for diety as well males consume alcohol it is a part of rich cultural heritage. Shop keepers gain a huge profit by selling Jaggery, fowl and coconuts to pilgrims to fulfill their wishes. Jaggery is given as an offering to diety checking the weight in a tulabaram(Balance). It is a rare phenomenal scenario to view these ancient practises like pabba. Shiva Sathi(lady) and Lakshmi Devaras. These women bless the childless mothers to have children. Heads are tonsured for kids. Teenage girls perform special prayers to obtain worthy husband. This is one of the famous festivals of telangana.It is the pride and honour of telangana people.
Today the four day celebration of Sammakka Sarakka Jatara came to a happy conclusion. Telangana Deputy Chief Minister Kadiyam Srihari thanked the pilgrims and other dignitaries for the over whelming tribal festival success. He also convened gratitude to all mothers for making this festival a grand victory. A powerful impact of this prestigious festival began 15 days before. Deputy CM praised Chief Minister KCR for allotting Rs.200 Cr and Land and funds to Medaram.