Gollapudi Srinivasa Rao
Official estimate of pilgrims put at 20 lakh on Wednesday
MEDARAM (WARANGAL DT.): The surge of devotees of the legendary tribal women – Sammakka and Sarakka saw one of the largest congregations of people in this tiny village amidst thick forests of Tadvai mandal on Wednesday.
The jatara began with the tribal priests bringing their Goddess Sarakka after completing rituals at Kannepalli village, eight kilometres from Medaram.
The devotees thronged Kannepalli to be part of the procession as they believe if they walk the path tread by Sarakka it would bring happiness and prosperity to them.
The police had tough time controlling the crowds and pave the way for the priests to proceed to the altar at Medaram village.
Shortly after 6 p.m., tribal priests Kaka Buchamma conducted prayers at Kannepally and Kaka Saraiah carried Sarakka deity along with other priests.
Joint Collector K. Srinivasa Raju and other Government officials accompanied the priests as is the custom. It took nearly more than an hour for them to reach the main altar at Medaram village.
Meanwhile officials estimate that over 20 lakh people have reached the jatara.
The crowds are expected to reach their peak on Thursday evening when Sammakka would be brought onto the altar from Chilkalgutta- when both Sammakka and Sarakka will adorn the altars at the same time.
There were innumerable complaints about the inadequate supply of drinking water.
The power supply too was erratic and so also the communication network.
Men and women attired in their best and several women swathed in turmeric turned up for the jatara.
They danced to folk tunes as the drumbeats rent the air.