Devotees not only from various corners of the state, but also from the neighbouring states are thronging to Medaram to have darshan of Sammakka and Saralamma since Tuesday night. (DC file photo)
MULUGU: Medaram, a discreet village in the deep forests of Tadvai in Mulugu district, is abuzz with a large number of devotees who thronged there to take part in the Medaram Jatara, one of the largest tribal festivals in the country.
The biennial tribal fair - Sammakka and Saralamma Jatara – which began on Wednesday, will last for four days until Saturday. The district administration under the leadership of collector Krishna Adithya and superintendent of police Sangram Singh G. Patil made elaborate arrangements at the shrine for the convenience of devotees.
As part of the ritual, the priests brought the idols of Pagadiddha Raju idol and Govinda Raju from Kondai village after covering around 66 kilometres to Medaram and installed the idols at the temple.
Later, they performed special prayers to Saralamma, following the unique traditions at Kannepalli, and brought turmeric and vermillion, which is considered as a resemblance of Saralamma. They took out a large procession under tight police security towards Medaram to install it at the temple in Medaram completing the first phase of jatara on Wednesday.
Water from Laknavaram lake was released into Jampanna Vagu and 250 expert swimmers have been deployed with light boats and searchlights to prevent any untoward incidents. A 50-bed hospital has been established at TTD Kalyana mandapam apart from around 35 temporary medical camps providing 108 and 104 ambulance services in case of emergency.
The authorities of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) are operating around 8,350 buses from various corners of the state and have set up a massive parking facility in around 11 acres of land near the shrine in Medaram.
Many devotees have been camping in temporary tents in 10 kilometres radius of the Sammakka Saralamma shrine since Tuesday night.
Devotees not only from various corners of the state, but also from the neighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa are thronging to Medaram to have darshan of Sammakka and Saralamma since Tuesday night.
With a huge number of devotees rushing to the temple from early hours, it took more than three hours of time to have darshan and offer prayers. Devotees offered jaggery which is treated as gold and considered as main prasadam to the presiding deities along with sarees, turmeric, coconuts and other gifts.
Tight security arrangements have been made by deploying around 11,000 police personnel for conducting the four-day jatara on a peaceful note apart from installing CCTV cameras at various important locations and setting up help desks.
The police are also using drones to monitor the movement of devotees and vehicles arriving from various parts of Telangana and neighbouring states to Medaram.