Hyderabad, Feb 7 (IANS) Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao and Himachal Pradesh Governor Bandaru Dattatreya paid obeisance to tribal deities Samakka and Sarakka as ‘Medaram Jatra’ reached its climax on Friday.
Soundararajan and Dattatreya visited Medaram in Mulugu district and had ‘darshan’ of the deities, which were brought there from adjoining villages during the last two days.
Later, Chief Minister Chandrashekhar Rao along with some of his cabinet colleagues offered prayers at Medaram. He made the offerings to the tribal goddesses on behalf of the state government.
Thousands of devotees continue to pour into Medaram in Eturanagaram wildlife sanctuary to participate in the four-day fair, concluding on Saturday.
Described as Asia’s biggest tribal fair, the biennial event is attracting devotees, mainly tribals from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and other states.
Sammakka and Sarakka were legendary warriors from the Koya tribe who died while fighting against the Kakatiya empire 800 years ago.
Besides the idols of the two goddesses, the idols of Sarakkaa’s father Pagidigidda Raju and husband Govinda Raju were also brought to the main venue.
The devotees were waiting for hours to have ‘darshan’ of Samakka and Sarakka.
Performing the unique rituals associated with the fair, the devotees offered jaggery to the deities while women believed to be possessed by goddesses were seen dancing.
There was hardly any space available at Jampanna rivulet, where the devotees took a dip with the belief that this will wash off their sins.
The festival, which marks the celebration of tribal traditions, has grown in size during last few years with authorities making elaborate arrangements for the transport of the devotees and smooth conduct of the mega event.
This year the state government sanctioned Rs 75 crore to take up various works for the smooth conduct of the rituals during the ‘jatra’.
As many as 12,000 policemen were deployed as part of the elaborate security arrangements.
State-owned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) is plying 4,000 buses to ferry devotees to Medaram from various places in the state. The South Central Railway is also operating 20 special trains from Hyderabad and other places in Telangana to clear the extra rush of passengers.