Recently, the festival of Medaram Jatara concluded.
Sammakka-Sarakka/Saralamma Jatara Festival:
Names: Medaram Jatara is also known as Sammakka Saralamma Jatara.
It is a major Tribal Festival held bi-annually in Jayashankar Bhupalpally district to honour the twin goddesses Sammakka and her daughter Sarakka.
Central government is likely to declare Medaram’s Sammakka-Sarakka/Saralamma Jatara a national festival.
Union government had in 2015 declared Vanaj, a tribal dance and music festival, as national festival.
Sammakka-Sarakka Jatara held by forest dwelling Koya tribe of Telangana and surrounding States, is the biggest Tribal festival in Asia which is attended by one crore people on an average.
Once declared a national festival, Jatara can be considered for ‘intangible cultural heritage of humanity’ tag of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
UNESCO had given the tag to Kumbh Mela, which is world’s biggest festival which sees participation by up to 10 crore persons.
Out of the huge congregation which comes to Medaram, 50 % are non-adivasi making the Jatara the most popular Tribal festival in India.
People from Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh come for the festival.
Several communities in Telangana society support Jatara as it is also a mythical narrative of two tribal women leaders who fought against the Kakatiya rulers who tried to annex their land and forests.
It is celebrated in the state of Telangana. The Jatra begins at Medaram in Tadvai Mandal in Warangal district.
Medaram is a remote place in the Eturnagaram Wildlife Sanctuary, a part of Dandakaranya, the largest surviving forest belt in the region.
When celebrated? It is held every two years (biannually). It is celebrated during the time the goddesses of the tribals is believed to visit them.
Ritual: People offer bangaram/gold (jaggery) of a quantity equal to their weight to the goddesses and take holy bath in Jampanna Vagu, a tributary to River Godavari.
Significance: Many tribal Devotees from different states of India reach to the festive place to celebrate the Jatara. is believed that after Kumbha Mela, the Medaram jatara attracts the largest number of devotees in the country.