India’s largest tribal festival, Sammakka Sarakka Jatara, witnessed a large footfall of people.
According to the officials, they expected more than 10 million people to be part of the bi-annual festival this year.
The four-day fair, which is also known as Medaram Jatra, is being celebrated at Warangal district in Telangana.
Both tribal and non-tribal devotees from many states such as Odisha, Andra Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka participated in the fair.
Devotees come to the festival to pay their respects to the tribal goddesses Sammakka and Sarakka. The deities were the legendary warriors from the Koya tribe who died in a battle against the Kakatiya empire around 800 years ago.
On February 17, when the festival began, devotees performed unique rituals like offering jaggery to the deities at night.
Besides that, men and women took a dip in the Jampanna stream, which they believe will wash away all their sins.
For the festival, the state authorities made adequate arrangements. According to the officials, around Rs 180 crore have been spent for the same.
This is the first time that Jatra is held in Telangana state. Chief Minister of Telangana, K. Chandrasekhar Rao, also visited the festival on February 18.
Vakati Karuna, Warangal District Collector, said:
“Around 30,000 people had been given the task to ensure smooth functioning of the event which includes 9,000 policemen, 5,000 sanitation staff, forest officials, doctors, paramedical staff and volunteers.”
Also, the state road transport corporation started 4,000 special buses for the festival. The South Central Railway had earlier announced that 16 special trains would run for the festival.