Andhra Pradesh hosts World's Largest Tribal Festival

#1 Jan 26th, 2010, 23:14
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Oct 2008
high o'er vales and hills ;)
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Sammakka - Sarakka Tribal Festival held biannually at 'Medaram' near Warangal in Andhra Pradesh is the world's largest tribal festival.
In Telugu, a tribal festival is called 'Jatara', hence this is locally called 'Sammakka-Sarakka jatara'.

It is a four day festival which happened last time in 2008.
This year it's between 26.01.2010 - 29.01.2010.

Medaram Sammakka Sarakka Jathara attracts approximately seven million devotees all across India mainly from Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Orissa, and Karnataka. Thousands of foreign tourists visit the tribal fair and enjoy the tribal spirit.
The major ritual during the fair is offering Bangaram (Jaggery) to the Goddesses.
Pavitra Snanam (means holi bath) in 'Japanna' stream near Medaram temple is considered highly auspicious.
Both Goddesses namely Sammakka and Sarakka are placed on a throne locally in Telugu called 'Gadde' on which they are worshipped for next three days.

Click here for picture..

The whole forest village is decorated now with numerous colourful flowers, cloths, bullock carts etc.


On Wednesday, the tribal priests would bring the deity of Sarakka (a.k.a. Saralamma) from Kannepally village in a procession and install it at the altar here.

On Thursday, another group of tribal priests would bring Samakka’s idol from Chilkalgutta hillocks and install it next to Saralamma.
The time when both deities adorn the altar at Medaram village is considered pious and important.

On Friday the last day of the occasion after both deities are placed on the altar (locally called Gadde) is when all pilgrims make their wishes to the Goddesses and later both the deities are taken out and left in the forests by the tribal priests (till next festival).

Tribal people in their vernacular colourful attire inviting others making a beeline to the village in every conceivable mode of transport and slowly their number is swelling.

Despite the best of efforts made by various agencies of the A.P. state government, the facilities may prove inadequate as the village is expected to be swamped by lakhs of people till friday.

How to reach?
Medaram is a place 110Km far from Warangal. Now numerous special buses also are allotted by APSRTC.
Warangal is 120 Km from Hyderabad which is very well connected by rail and road.

Additional Information:
Telephone numbers for contact
* Warangal collector camp office: 94413 27594
* Warangal collect orate control office : 94413 26409
* Sub collector, Mulugu: 94413 27386
* PO, ITDA, Eturu nagaram: 94413 27526
* If missing contact: 94413 26384, 94413 26409, 94413 26415, 94413 26376

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Last edited by; Jan 27th, 2010 at 12:58..
#2 Jan 26th, 2010, 23:25
Join Date:
Dec 2003
Murcia - Spain
  • Jorge Reverter is offline
Thanks for the information. It is a pity that the Festival cannot hold over until the following week, I'll be in India at the end of next week and will miss it .

All the best

#3 Jan 26th, 2010, 23:30
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Originally Posted by Jorge Reverter View Post Thanks for the information. It is a pity that the Festival cannot hold over until the following week, I'll be in India at the end of next week and will miss it .

All the best

hey.. thanks for showing interest regarding the dying tribes globally.. don't worry dude, i am going there tomorrow or the day after... i'll post picasa links of this festival!!

warm regards..
#4 Jan 29th, 2010, 23:55
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Hey buddies.. yesterday I was at Sammakka Saralamma Jatara '2010 in Medaram near Warangal in A.P...
it was such an experience of it's own kind... although it was a noisy, dusty and tiring experience, it was worth going there to observe the very rural and tribal India at it's microcosm.. of course not micro.... because around 3 crore people visit this festival through the 4 day stretch of this festival... for being the largest tribal festival in the world after all!

check out some pictures in this link...

warm regards...
#5 Jan 30th, 2010, 00:10
Join Date:
Feb 2005
  • Hyderabadi is offline
Great info and pictures Adarsh!

Jataras are held annually in towns all over AP but Sammakka Sarakka / Saralamma Jatara aka Medaram Jatara is really huge! Here's what Wikipedia has on the event and it's history:

One day, seven centuries ago, the tribals were hunting deep in the forest where they saw a female child surrounded by glorious glow, divine light and secured by tigers and lions. The tribalís elders (Koya doralu) brought the child to the village. From that day, the village started seeing lot of prosperity and happiness. The tribal elders felt that their god Kondadevara (tribal god) had come to them as the child. In a ritual ceremony they named her as "Sammakka". Sammakka was fearless and rode on tigers and lions. She granted wishes to childless couples and cured people suffering form various chronic diseases. Her divine powers to grant wishes soon made her popularity spread through out the province. When Sammakka attained juvenile age, she was married to one Pagididda Raju, the ruler of Medaram village. They were blessed with one son and two daughters named Jampanna, Saralamma and Nagulamma, respectively.

During that period Emperor Prathaparudra, belonging to the Kakatiya dynasty, was the ruler of the vast Kakatiya kingdom. The kingdom's capital city was "Orugallu", now known as Warangal.....
This would be really very interesting for you Jorge! I think Cameleer too.

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