February Fullmoon(pournami) days.
This year Jatara begins from 8th, February and ends on 11th February.
Seven centuries ago, the tribals went in to deep forest for hunting. They have seen a child secured by cruel tigers and lions, with glorious presence, at the glorious light. The tribal’s elders (Koya doralu) lifted the child in manger to the village. Since the presence of the child, in the village there has been lot of prosperity and happiness in the village. The tribal elders felt that, their god Kondadevara (Kondadevara is a tribal god) has arrived to them as the child. In very ritual movement they named her as "Sammakka". Sammakka rowed on tigers and lions. She also is granting the wishes to child bearing couples. She cured so many persons suffering form chronic decease. Granting wishes held her popularity spread through out. The region as Sammakka reached her juvenile stage. She was married to Pagididda Raju, the ruler of Medaram village. The couple was very happy and people praised them as token of their relation. They were blessed with son and two daughters named Jampanna, Saralamma and Nagulamma.
During this period Prathaparudra belonging Kakatiya dynasty was ruling capital city as "Orugallu" now it is known as Warangal. Pagididda Raju was being a subordinate king of Kakatiya dynasty and ruling the Medaram village in his province.
There occurred a caviar famine for four years. In the same period, people became shuttered, because take of famine. The people were not a situation to pay their taxes. So Pagididda Raju refused to pay tax to the Kakatiya emperor. It was not agreeable to the king and decided to wage war under the lieutenant Yugandarudu.
The tribal warriors having self-respect decided to prepare to war. The tribal warriors were not afraid of enemy forces having equines and elephantine forces. They attacked the Kakatiyans by shouting war crises. Thousands of heads were chopped like coconuts. The blood flew like river, and mixed with Sampenga Vagu the passageway. The water was adulterated with blood. In this battle, there was no difference like tribal or non-tribal among the people participated in war. The skilled tribal warriors were killed by Kakatiya strength. In this scared battle, Sammakka’s husband Pagididda Raju, Son in Law Govindaraju laid their victorious lives. Jampanna having self-respect ashamed and sacrificed him self, by jumping in to "Sampenga Vagu" Hence it is called as Jampanna Vagu.
By hearing shocking news of her loved once (Husband, Son in Law, many tribal warriors), Sammakka didn’t gave up her courage. Having breast plate (Daalu) and sword she attacked the enemy forces. Showing her divine powers she shattered and terrorized. The Kakatiyans are almost confidante of victory. But they surprised by the divine combat of Sammakka. As Sammakka was at the peak of guts, suddenly a little boy came behind and back stroked Sammakka. Sammakka was turned behind raises her sword to kill the back stroker, and she realize that it was a little boy and she stops. She leaves the child by not killing him, with mercy. Then the Sammakka tied the wound with cloth and fled away on a horse from battlefield thinking of "If her blood drops on the land, the land will become barren and gives no fruit ". She fled away towards east of the Medaram village and disappeared.
After the battle, the tribals searched for Sammakka in forest. They found a Kumkum Barinay (Hindus kept their thilak in a small box) at a snake hole in the shade of a Naga vruksham (Tree called Naga vruksham). Tribals felt that their goddess Sammakka has found as Kumkum Barinay. Once in two years on the day of "Magha shuddha Purnima" the tribal women celebrate a festival, where they got the Kumkum Barinay. As this festival become very popular and many tribal are coming to the place. That is why the tribal elders cut off the Naga vruksham and make it has symbol of Sammakka, build it in a platform. (Gadde) They also build another Platform (Gadde) for Sammakka’s daughter Saralamma. They worship "Deyyala Madugu thinking as Jampanna". Some pilgrims see a snake in the hole of Ippa chettu (Ippa Tree), which is besides the Sammakka’s platform and believe that it was Sammakka’s husband Pagididda Raju.
People believe that Goddesses Sammakka, Saralamma fulfill their desires with their divine and miraculous powers. Issueless Couples visit to pray the goddess to bless them with children.
Many a pilgrim pay their promises made to goddess during the Jathara, by offering Jaggery, calf, coconuts and donations in cash etc. Pilgrims bath in the Jampanna stream to get purified and absolve from sins.
History of sammaka
The undeterred resolve, honesty, uprightness and courage of two Girijan women, Sammakka and Saralamma, pitted against the might of cruel kind, symbolizing in short the spirit of the girijans in the face of odds, forms the sprit of the bi-annual Sammakka Saralamma jathara held in forests of Medaram in Eturnagaram mandal in Warangal district. This is the biggest Girijan festival held here. Medaram is a small village in the forest. Here Sammakka Jathara is celebrated once in two years on a very large - scale for three days before Magha Purnima Sammakka is a tribal goddess and the patrons and the priests are Koyas (A caste in tribals). All the tribals of Mulugu area and the thousands of other Hindus congregate there during the celebrations. There is no permanent idol of the deity.
A 50-acre forest expanse would be used for the purpose, which is situated 110 km from the Warangal district headquarters on the banks of river. The jathara begins on Magha shuddha Purnima and continues for four days.
Offerings are made to the goddesses with jaggery. About four lakh devotees worshipped the deities in the 1996 jathara. Though the State government realized the importance in 1952, it did not take any concrete measures to popularize it till 1982.
A Koya tribal boy, who gets a vision before the festival, roams about in the forest for a week without food and sleep and finally brings the goddess in the farm of vermilion caskets. One representing the main duty Sammakka and the other her daughter Sarakka both tied to a piece of bamboo.
This is installed on an earthen platform raised under a tree. Animals are sacrificed and vows are redeemed, intoxicants are widely used. Hundreds of people who are often possessed by the goddess come there dancing ecstatically throughout their journey. The special offering to the deity is jaggery, which collects, in huge piles. Those who fulfill vows offer jaggery equal to their weight and jaggery is distributed as prasadam. More than 2lakh of people congregate every day. They came in motorized vehicles, bullock carts, on foot in thousands causing an unprecedented traffic jam from Medaram whose tail could be traced 26 km away towards Warangal.
Men and women attired in their best and many swathed in turmeric turned up for the jathara. For tribal youth, it was a no-holds-barred celebration. They reached the Sammakka Sarakka "gaddhelu'' (platform) dancing to the tune of drums with gay abandon while elderly people tried their best to have darshan. A large number of tribal men and women behaved as if "possessed'' by the tribal goddesses.
People believe that Goddesses Sammakka, Saralamma fulfill their desires with their divine and miraculous powers. Issueless Couples visit to pray the goddess to bless them with children. Many pilgrim pay their promises made to goddess during the Jathara, by offering Jaggery, calf's, coconuts and donations in cash etc. Pilgrim bath in the Jampanna stream to get purified and absolve from sins.