Joy in the air as Sammakka Saralamma jatara arrives in Telangana

Devotees offer prayers, decorate 2-km stretch from hillock to temple with lights, rangoli
Devotees at Jatara.
Devotees at Jatara.

MULUGU: Beating of drums and chants of ecstatic devotees rang out at Chilukalagutta as the deity of Sammakka was brought down from the hillock in a casket of vermilion and bamboo sticks wrapped in holy cloth. A sea of humanity descended on Medaram village on the second day of Sammakka Saralamma jatara on Thursday.

The 2-km road leading to Medaram from Chilukalagutta was packed with devotees waiting for the arrival of Goddess Sammakka at the altar, locally known as gadde. The tribal priests reached with Goddess Sammakka at 7.30 pm. Mulugu District Superintendent of Police Sangramsingh G Patil opened three rounds of fire into the air with the AK-47 to indicate that the tribal priests had arrived with the deity of Goddess Sammakka. Devotees let out of cries of joy and began dancing to the rhythmic beats of drums.
Chief priest Kokkera Krishnaiah offered prayers for three hours to invoke the Goddess.

He then made his way with four other priests towards the altars at Medaram holding ‘Kukuma Bharnam’ in the casket. A group of woman devotees decorated the entire stretch of 2-km from the Goddess Sammakka Chilukalagutta hillock to the Medaram temple with colourful rangoli. Several devotees climbed trees and sat on buildings to get a glimpse of the Goddess. Several female devotees were in a trance, dancing and singing with abandon. Many devotees sacrificed poultry and sheep to win over the Goddess.

Meanwhile, tribal priests decorated the altars with bright, colourful lights and mango leaves before Goddess Sammakka’s deity arrived. Lakhs of devotees reached the temple to offer prayers. Endowment Minister A Indrakaran Reddy, Panchayat Raj Minister Errabelli Dayakar Rao, Bhadrachalam MLA Podem Veeraiah, Chhattisgarh Minister Kawasi Lakhma and several other VIPs offered prayers and gifts of sarees, bangles, kumkum bharanis to the deities Sammakka-Saralamma.

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The New Indian Express