Medaram Jatara: The Kumbh of tribals

Have you ever known that 6 million devotees visit the small Hamlet / village Medaram  in AP ? Lakhs of tribals visit the Jatara (Fair) as it is called from 5 neighbouring states including Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Chattisgarh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.  Tribals from Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Maharashtra and the forest tracts of Eturunagaram, Bhadrachalam, Venkatapuram, Manuguru and other areas of Andhra Pradesh, the festival has a deep spiritual relevance.

The Story (dates back to 6 centuaries) behind the Jatara goes interestingly as…

A little girl was found playing with tigers in the dandakaranya /deep forests of warangal by the Koya tribal chieftains who adopted her later and named her Sammakka. After a while the kakatiyas (this was the time 1000 AD and 1380 AD the Kakatiyas the mighty rulers of Andhra & surounding areas)  demanded Taxes and unfortunately the mighty Godavari dried up pushing the tribals into poverty. But the rulers insisted that they pay up the taxes and there was a war, in which the tribal chiefs including most of the tribals perished fighting the kings army. While Sammakka was injured and then cursed the kings to perish she disappeared into the forest, only to be found later  only a red ochre box with her bangles and the pug-marks of a huge tigress. 

Since then the Koyas started celebrating the SAMMAKKA & SARALAMMA  (Saralamma is the daughter of Sammakka) jatara bi-annually.

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