About Sammakka Sarakka Temple
Sammakka Sarakka Temple (Sammakka Saralamma Temple) built in the 12th Century. The temple is in Medaram village, Tadvai Mandal, Mulugu District. Rituals in the temple managed by the Koya tribe priests according to their traditions and customs.
The temple constructed as a tribute to the two tribal Women Sammakka and Saralamma who fought against Kakatiya Rulers. About 2000 people visited the temple till the year 1995, in which 1500 are from the tribal communities. But now nearly ten million people are worshipping Goddesses in which only 2% of them are from the tribal communities.
The temple is in the remote place of Eturnagaram Forest, Dandakaranya which is the largest forest belt existing in the Deccan. The temple attracts a large number of devotees in the country at the time of Jathara and it is the biggest tribal festival celebrated in the world.
History of Sammakka Saralamma Temple
According to the tribal story, about 6-7 centuries back a group of tribes went for hunting. There they found a little girl (Sammakka) lying among the tigers and emitting light. The Head of the tribe adopted and raised as a chief. Sammakka became a savior for the tribal of that region. She got married to Pagididda Raju, the tribal chief and follower of Kakatiyas. They are having three children Saralamma, Nagulamma, and Jampanna.
Due to a lack of rains in this region, the head Pagididda Raju failed to pay taxes to the Kakatiya King Prathapa Rudra. The king sent his army to collect the taxes from the tribe and this led to a war between tribes and Kakatiyas. Saralamma, Nagulamma, Jampanna, and Pagididda Raju fought and died in the battle to protect their region.
After the death of the family, Sammakka also fought boldly and spoliate the Kakatiya army. The king heard about the bravery of Sammakka and called for peace, but she refused and continued the war. Sammakka promised her people that as long as she is there, she will protect them. Sammakka injured severely in the battle and walked into the forest Chilakala Gutta.
The people of the tribe went into the forest in search of Sammakka and found a box with Kumkum, a few bangles, and footprints of the tiger. The most shocking, that was the same place where Sammakka found it to the head of the tribe. The tribes host a festival to her for her bravery in protecting the tribe.
Sammakka Saralamma Jathara is a tribal festival celebrated once in two years during Magha Masam. The Jathara held for four days and also popular as Medaram Jathara. People come from all over the country and especially from the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh to celebrate the Jathara.
People come here and take a holy bath in Jampanna Vagu. The name of the Vagu is Sampangi, which is the tributary of River Godavari. Jampanna died during the war with Kakatiya army and fell into the stream. The stream then turned into red colour with the blood of Jampanna and then named as Jampanna Vagu.
The Jathara celebrated without any Vedic or Brahmanic impact. The tribal people perform their rituals and celebrate the Jathara. Devotees offer Bangaram (Jaggery) of their weights to the deities during the Jathara.
Four Days of Medaram Jathara
- On the First day of Medaram Jathara, Goddess Saralamma (Sarakka) bought from Kannepalli, a neighbour village in the evening, and placed on the Sanctum called Gadde.
- The second day, the tribal priest will go to Chilakala Gutta and brings the deity Sammakka on to the Sanctum in the evening. The Goddess will be in the form of Kumkum. The tribal priest brings two bamboo sticks and places near the Gadde of Sammakka and Sarakka. The Sammakka Bamboo stick covered with Kumkum and Sarakka sticks with Turmeric.
- The third day is Magha Suddha Pournami, the deities Sammakka and Sarakka are available for darshan for the devotees. Devotees seek blessings from the goddesses.
- On the last and final day of Medaram Jathara, the deities are taken back from the Gadde to their original places. The ceremony called Vanapravesham.
Sammakka Sarakka Temple Timings
Sammakka Sarakka temple timings are from 6 AM to 6 PM on all days and temple will be open 24 hours during Jathara days.
People believe that visiting the Jathara and offering prayers to the Goddesses will get rid of their problems and some believe that dangerous evil powers also be removed at this place. The Telangana government facilitated with drinking water, sanitation, roads, hygiene, and health at Sammakka Sarakka Jathara. Medaram Jathara is one of the largest gatherings of Hindus in the World.
How to Reach Sammakka Sarakka Temple
By Road: TSRTC provided buses from all the regions to Sammakka Saralamma Temple. As the temple is 100 km from Warangal and 240 km from Hyderabad we can travel on our own transport also.
By Rail: The nearest railway station is Warangal and Kazipet also. There are a number of trains to Kazipet and Warangal from all over the country. One can get down at Kazipet and take the roadway to reach the temple.
By Air: The nearest airport is Shamshabad Airport which is 270 km. At the time of Sammakka Sarakka Jathara special Helicopter service provided by the Telangana Government. Helicopter service is from Hyderabad to Medaram. The aerial survey of Medaram costs RS 2999/- and with VIP Darshan with Helicopter service for 6 people costs Rs 1.8 Lakh + GST.
Accommodation at Sammakka Saralamma Temple
The Telangana tourism, Haritha Hotel is there to stay with all the facilities. And there are very few options to stay at Medaram.