Sammakka-Sarakka jataraDate: 22 January 2022 Tags: Festivals
Considered as India’s biggest tribal fair, the Sammakka-Sarakka jatara will take place in Telangana’s Mulugu district.
The jatara commemorates the tribal revolt led by Sammakka and Saralamma against levy of taxes on tribal people during drought conditions by the then Kakatiya rulers in the 12th century.
It is a four-day jatara and takes place once every two years. The fair pays tribute to tribal warriors who made supreme sacrifices defending the rights of aboriginal tribal people.
The rituals at the jatara site are organised in tune with tribal traditions under the aegis of tribal priests. It symbolizes traditions of Koya tribal people.
The fair will celebrate the exemplary courage displayed by mother-daughter duo fighting against the brutal regime imposing taxes during droughts.
The fair takes place in Medaram and surrounding Jampanna vagu. Tribals from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra attend the celebrations.
Legend of Sammakka and Saralamma (Sarakka)
They are considered tribal goddesses and devotees make them offerings for bestowing health and wealth.
Sammakka was found as a baby by a tribal chieftain Medaraju of ‘Polavasa’ during his hunting trip to the forest.
He raised the child and got her married to Pagidigidda Raju, a tribal leader of Medaram, who was a feudatory of Kakatiya ruler. Her daughter was Saralamma.
Courage and fight
During a spell of drought, the rulers insisted on payment of taxes by people of Medaram. Pagidigidda Raju refused to follow the order.
The Kakatiya king announced a war on Medaram and deployed a large contingent of the army.
Samakka and her family fought valiantly despite getting grievously injured. Samakka vanished into Chilakalagutta hillock nearby and the locals found a container of vermillion on the hillock.
Since the incident, the villagers believe that Sammakka had turned into a goddess to protect them with her divinity.