Tholi mokku at Vemulawada before Medaram jatara
Come Medaram jatara, the devotee influx to ancient Raja Rajeshwara Swamy temple invariably picks up. For that matter, pilgrims visiting any jatara in the erstwhile Warangal district like Komuravelli, Ainavolu, Kuravi etc., visit Vemulawada to offer prayers.
Vemulawada: Come Medaram jatara, the devotee influx to ancient Raja Rajeshwara Swamy temple invariably picks up. For that matter, pilgrims visiting any jatara in the erstwhile Warangal district like Komuravelli, Ainavolu, Kuravi etc., visit Vemulawada to offer prayers.
Albeit, there is no historical or religious ground that establishes how the convention had begun, over the years, Vemulawada Raja Rajeshwara Swamy temple had become a must-visit destination for pilgrims heading to biennial Medaram Sammakka-Saralamma jatara, one of the world’s largest carnivals.
The devotees, especially belonging to undivided Warangal and Karimnagar districts, believe that a visit Vemulawada’s Rajanna before visiting the tribal fair augurs well for them. Generally, the pilgrims start to descend on Vemulawada at least a fortnight before.
It was no different this year as well. In fact, the devotee rush increased leaps and bounds compared to last year, according to temple authorities. The temple that witnesses an average of 20,000 devotee footfall a day suddenly jumped to 50,000 in the last few days.
Speaking to The Hans India, the temple Public Relations Officer (PRO) Upadhyayula Chandrasekhar said, “The temple witnessed more than two lakh devotees together on Sunday and Monday. It is likely to increase further in the next few days as the four-day Medaram jatara, scheduled to commence on January 31, draws close.”
He said the devotees after offering prayers to the presiding deities, Raja Rajeshwara Swamy and Raja Rajeshwari Devi, offer bonalu at Baddi Pochamma temple. It had become an unwritten protocol for the devotees to head to Medaram only after offering prayers in Vemulawada, also known as Dakshin Kasi, the PRO said.
According to authorities, the temple income also goes up by at least Rs 4 crore during the jatara year. Local lore believes that Lord Shiva is the grandfather of Sammakka-Saralamm, the deities of Medaram, hence the devotees offer ‘tholi mokku’ (first offerings) to Lord Shiva in Vemulawada and leave for home before they proceed to Medaram jatara.
Moreover, there is similarity in the way the pilgrims offer prayers at both places. Rodda Sharada and Tulasidas, a couple from Bellampally, said it had been a practice they inherited from their ancestors to visit Vemulawada before they head to Medaram jatara.