The start of the famous Gond adivasi pilgrimage event, the Nagoba jatara at Keslapur in Indervelli mandal of Adilabad district was a solemn affair on Thursday as the devout engrossed themselves in religious activities.

Gonds and Pardhans of Mesram clan arrived to the holy place from Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh besides all from all corners of this district.

Rituals performed

In the morning, the group of Gond and Pardhan elders who had fetched holy water from Hastina madugu of river Godavari in Jannaram mandal were given a traditional welcome under the old banyan tree. They later moved to the Nagoba temple with devotees trailing them.

The Kathod priests then handed over the sacred earthen pots to 45 Bheti Kodiyarks or the mesram daughters married in different clans for fetching water from the sacred well located near the banyan tree for rituals of purification of the temple and making of anthills symbolic of the serpent god.

In the night, the Gonds performed the Mahapuja of Nagoba, also known as Persa Pen or great god, which marks the actual beginning of the annual tribal fair. Integrated Tribal Development Agency Project Officer Janardhan Nivas also participated in the prayers.