The power of faith. It has turned Medaram, a tiny and sleepy village in the forest of Eturunagaram into a lively and vibrant place where millions of people have converged for the famous Sammakka Sarakka jatara.
It is the power of faith that changed the shape of this village where everything becomes colossal even if it is for a short while. The ever increasing pilgrims occupy every inch of space.
There are brand new transformers supplying uninterrupted power, a rarity. Water gushes out of taps and a brand new sprawling APS RTC bus stand has come up in the forest apart from a helipad for VIPs that has replaced the bamboo fields.
Needless to say, even the debris left behind is unimaginable.
Simply, the tribal festival is a sight with its sheer size and the spiritual belief of the pilgrims. As plumes of red dust rise unhurriedly, women believed to be possessed by the Goddess dance in a trance. People set up jungle camps everywhere, eat and drink and doze off in the open. When devotees move towards the Jampanna vagu, a small rivulet considered being holy, one is simply pushed ahead without any effort required. Such is the surge of the crowd.
Every two years, tribals of Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa undertake what is nothing short of an odyssey as they travel in bullock carts for days together to reach
Medaram and pay obeisance to the legendary koya tribal saints Sammakka Sarakka who became martyrs fighting the imperial forces of the Kakatiya monarch Pratapa Rudra II, eight centuries ago. The tribals believe that the spirits of the legendary tribal warrior women would descend on Medaram during the jatara.