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Medaram Sammakka Sarakka Jatara - The tribal fair of Telangana

Sammakka Sarakka Jatara also known as Medaram Jatara is a tribal fair celebrated once in every two years i.e biannually in a small village named Medaram in the Warangal district of Telangana. The place is located at a distance of 285 Km from Hyderabad.

It is a 4-day fair celebrated in the Hindu month of Maagha Masam and attracts a large crowd, particularly the tribal people from the neighboring states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhatishgarh, Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Jharkhand.

History of Sammakka Sarakka Jatara

There is a tribal story of the 13th century in connection with the fair. According to the story, few Koya tribal leaders of the region went on hunting and found a newly born baby girl emitting radiance was playing amidst tigers. The tribal chief adopted the baby, named her 'Sammakka' and brought her up as the chieftain. She was married to a tribal chief named Pagididda Raju - a feudator of Kakatiyas who ruled over the Andhra region from 11th to 14th century C.E (Current Era). Sammakka was blessed with two daughter named 'Sarakka' and 'Nagulamma' and a son named 'Jampanna'.

There was severe drought for years in the region due to which River Godavari dried up and the tribal chief Pagididda Raju (husband of Sammakka) couldn't pay tribute to the Kakatiya King Pratapa Rudra. The King sent his army to subdue the tribes and collect the tribute.

In a war lead by Pagididda Raju, the Koya tribes defended the Kakatiya army on the banks of 'Sampenga Vagu' (presently known as Jampanna Vagu). Note: Vagu is the Telugu word for stream. Though the Koya tribes fought valiantly, they couldn't win over the well equipped Kakatiya army. Pagididda Raju (husband of Sammakka), his daughters Sarakka and Nagulamma and Sarakka's husband Govinda Raju lost their lives in the battle. Later Pagididda Raju's son Jampanna also lost his life at the Sampenga Vagu which is renamed as Jampanna Vagu after him.

Info: Jampana Vagu is a tributary of River Godavari. There is a bridge over the stream. The stream waters are red in color due to the red soil of the region. But the locals / tribes believe that the water turned red in color with the blood of Jampanna (Sammakka's son who lost his life in the battle). The locals believe that a holy dip in this stream arouses courage in them.

Back to historical story: On hearing the news, enraged Sammakka entered the war field to avenge the death of her husband and children and caused much damage to the Kakatiya army. The Kakatiya Prime Minister who was stunned with the bravery and valor of Sammakka, visited the Koya kingdom with a peace proposal. He even offered Sammakka, the place of Chief Queen in the Kakatiya King's harem.

Sammakka refused the offer and determined to continue the war. She was seriously wounded in the battle yet she assured her people that she would protect and safeguard them as long as they remember her. She then cursed the Kakatiya dynasty and with her wounded body, she proceeded towards Chiluka Gutta. Sammakka then disappeared in the forest.

The grieved Koya tribes searched for their Chieftain and found a red box containing kumkum (vermilion), her bangles and the pug marks of a tigress. They found these almost in the same place where Sammakka was found as a newly born baby by the tribes.

From then onwards, the Koya tribes and tribes from the surrounding region started celebrating the fair in fond memory of their beloved Sammakka and Sarakka.

Dates of Medaram Jatara 2018

  1. Jan 31, 2018
    Day 1 - Arrival and placing of Goddess Saralamma on the gadde i.e platform. Saralamma (i.e Sarakka) is brought from the neighboring tribal hamlet named Kanneboyinapalli.

  2. Feb 1, 2018
    Day 2 - Arrival and placing of Sammakka on the Holy platform i.e gadde. Sammakka is brought from Chilukala gutta.

  3. Feb 2, 2018
    Day 3 - Devotees have a holy dip in the Jampanna Vagu, visit / have darshan of Sammakka and Saralamma and offer naivedyam and other offerings like Bellam i.e jaggery.

  4. Feb 3, 2018
    Day 4 / Last day - The deities Sammakka and Saralamma are taken back to their original places i.e the forest. This event is known as vanapravesam (a Telugu word for 'getting into forest')
Medaram Jatara is the world's largest tribal fair.

How to Reach

Medaram is located in the Tadvai mandal which is in the newly formed district of Jayashankar Bhupalpally. TSRTC (Telangana State Road Transport Corporation) operates special bus services to the fair from Hyderabad, Warangal, Khajipet and Janagam. Buses run frequently from Uppal, Mahatma Gandhi Bus Stop, Jadagiri Gutta, Borabanda of Hyderabad.

Online bus reservation is available for the Jatara.

Images Courtesy: Google Images

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