The world's second largest tribal festival 'Medaram Jatara' started on Wednesday in Warangal district of Telangana. Popularly known as 'Sammakka Sarakka Jatara', it is usually celebrated from February 17 to 20, every two years. Jatara begins at Kannepalli forest in Warangal and ends at Medaram village, which is 90 km away from Warangal district.
It is believed that this Jatara is celebrated when goddesses of the tribals visit them. Devotees make animal sacrifices during this period. The tribals in the village usually invite their daughters to participate in the festival.
The main festival begins on February 17, when deity Saralamma is brought from Kannepalli forest and established in Medaram village. On the following day, the tribal priests offer prayers at Chilkalgutta, which is two kilometres away from Medaram and bring another deity Sammakka who is Saralammaâ€™s mother. The deities are then taken back by the tribal priests to their respective places, and the Jatara ends on February 20.
Many tribal devotees from different states like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Maharashtra, Karnataka and parts of Jharkhand reach Medaram to participate in the state festival of Telangana. This yearâ€™s Jathara is the first one after the formation of Telangana state.
A huge ground with a radius of 10 km has been arranged to accommodate the visitors with all the basic requirements to facilitate the Jathara. The State Transport Corporation has deployed 4000 buses for the visitors, with the capacity to carry four million passengers.
The state government has sanctioned Rs. 172.54 crores for the festival.