Telangana

Special prayers herald Samakka Sarakka jatara

Temples decked up for the occasion from February 5

Sprucing up of the Samakka temple in Medaram village marked the beginning of the jatara rituals on Thursday. The tribal priests offered special prayers called “Mendamalige panduga” on the occasion.

The Sarakka temple at Kannepalli, six kilometres from Medaram, was also decked up for the jatara. The Samakka Sarakka jatara is scheduled to be held from February 5 to 8.

Chief tribal priest Kokkera Krishnaiah led the festivities and said that they would be conducting a special puja again on January 29.

Tribal women from the priests’ families cleaned up the temple and drew special patterns with turmeric, vermilion and rice flour while the male members offered special prayers.

The temples were adorned with garlands of mango leaves and incense sticks were lighted up, thus setting a festive atmosphere in the villages.

Earlier in the day, a procession was organised with a group of men blowing horns and beating drums heralding the beginning of Sammakka Sarakka jatara festivities.

The historic Sammakka Sarakka jatara is believed to have started eight centuries after the tribal women, Sammakka and Sarakka, went down fighting the imperial Kakatiya army who demanded royalty from the little tribal hamlet.

It all began when the tribals expressed their inability to pay royalty to the Kakatiya army due to continuous drought. As a result, the army waged a war and started torturing the tribals. Then, tribal chieftain Medaraju and his wife and daughter put up a relentless fight protecting their people but in vain. However, since then, tribals started celebrating their valour, considered them as their goddesses and thus began the Samakka Sarakka jatara.

Over the decades, the jatara acquired a mass appeal and even non-tribals came to believe in the powers of the tribal deities.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 11:27:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/special-prayers-herald-samakka-sarakka-jatara/article30635349.ece

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