Some Chenchu tribesmen have descended on this town, the gateway to Rayalaseema from coastal Andhra, on the eve of Sankranti, adding colour to celebration of the harvest festival.
The Chenchus, a primitive tribal group, in their traditional attire with peacock feathers and beads, are the cynosure of all eyes as they go round the town wishing the people good luck and prosperity.
“People of Ongole are kind to us and offer money and articles generously,” says a Chenchu elder Nallabothu Kottaiah while talking to The Hindu on the busy Gandhi Road.
Kottaiah, member of the aboriginal tribe living in the dense Nallamala forests and preserving their distinct culture, says: “We used to visit the towns like Markapur, Podili, Chirala, Tangutur during festivals and retreat back to the forests”.
They eke out a living by hunting as also selling forest produce to non-tribals and remain unpolluted by the modern way of life, he says.