Jul 1, 2009

Sammakka Saarakka Medaram Jatra : India's Largest Tribal Fair

The four day long Sammakka Saarakka Medaram Jatra is the largest tribal fair of India. It is celebrated once in two years at Medaram village in Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh. Medaram village is situated about 100 km away from Warangal city, amid dense jungles. Sammakka Saarakka Medaram Jatra attracts millions of tribals from different states of India like Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhatisgarh.

The festival is celebrated in the Magha month, as per the Hindi calendar, on the full moon day. Sarakka goddess, in the form of vermilion, is brought from the neighbouring village Kanneboyinapalle and placed on the platform made under a tree. The main Goddess, Sammakka, is also brought from a nearby village Chilukalagutta in a great procession. According to a legend Sammakka and Saarakka were Koya women warriors who were killed by the army while fighting against Pratapa Rudra.

Sammakka Saarakka Jatra is also known by the name of tribal Kumbh Mela and all the tribes gathered here take dip in the Jampanna Vagu, a small rivulet, to get purified and absolve from sins. After that devotees pay their obeisance and worship Goddesses Sarakka and Sammakka with the belief that they will bring prosperity and happiness in their lives with miraculous and divine powers. Girls offer prayers to the Goddesses for good life partners and couples to bless them with children.

Tribes have a ritual of weighing themselves against Jaggery and after that it is offered to the Goddess. Apart from this they also sacrifice thousands of goats and cocks on the name of deities as per the rituals and beliefs. Devotees dressed in beautiful attires sing hymns in praise of their deities.


The sanctum sanctorum of Jatara site, Gaddelu, is thronged by devotees to the fullest. A number of temporary dwellings also spring up to accommodate the devotees from far away places.

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