Get, set, go Medaram jatara!

Get, set, go Medaram jatara!
Highlights

The famous biennial Sammakka-Saralamma jatara at Medaram is all set for a dazzling start on Wednesday. The pre-jatara crowds, numbering more than a million, already set the tone.

Medaram (Jayashankar-Bhupalpally): The famous biennial Sammakka-Saralamma jatara at Medaram is all set for a dazzling start on Wednesday. The pre-jatara crowds, numbering more than a million, already set the tone.

The fiesta begins at Kannepally, a couple of kilometers from the altars (gaddelu) of the deities in the month of Magha on Suddha Pournami. After a host of rituals at the shrine of Saralamma, the tribal priests take out the presiding deity - Saralamma – in the form of vermillion in a kumkum bharani (casket) and turmeric in a procession to Medaram altars, where they install the deity Saralamma.

The procession has its peculiarity with those suffering from protracted health issues and other maladies, especially the issueless women seeking the deity’s blessings to fulfill their ambition roll on the road with folded hands so that the priests who were heading to the altars trudge over them. The ritual is known as ‘varam’ pattadam.

The ritual starts at around 4 pm amid drum beats and ends by 9 pm with the priests reaching the altars crossing the Jampanna vagu stream. Even though the Wednesday to witness lunar eclipse between 6.04 pm and 8.40 pm, the tribal priests ruled out any change in their ritual timings, it’s learnt.

On the other hand, tribal priests bring Saralakka’s husband Govindarajulu from Kondai under Eturnagaram mandal and placed alongside the deity. Meanwhile, the surge of devotees continued at Medaram on Tuesday evening, giving a tough time to the authorities.

The authorities made elaborate arrangements this year for the jatara. Highlights: The queue that stretches to six to seven kilometers holds about two lakh devotees at any point of time. On the first two days - January 31 and February 1, there will be no dasrhan for ministers or VIPs. They were told to come on February 2 or 3 only.

In all, the RTC is plying 4,200 buses from various destinations. The ITDA and the Forest Department have been providing tented accommodation on payment. As many as 10,000 police personnel have been drafted for the jatara. 56 medical camps have also put up by the authorities.

About 5,664 showers have been installed at Jampanna vagu, besides constructing bathing ghats for three kilometers. Permanent public toilets complex is also in place. BSNL is providing free WiFi services to pilgrims.The recently opened tribal museum and the open-air amphitheatre could well be the highlight of this jatara.

Speaking to The Hans India, Jayashankar-Bhupalpally in-charge Collector R V Karnan said: “With everything in place, this time around the jatara is like never before. The comfort of devotees is paramount for us and that was ensured. The fiesta, which has all ingredients to be a world-class carnival, will go places.”

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