Medaram village is in Warangal district of the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. The village is surrounded by Medaram-Tadvai forest range, which is located at a distance of 94 km from district headquarters of Warangal district. It is situated on 18.3228 N latitudes and 80.2402 E longitudes, at an average elevation of 138 meters.
Medaram village economy is dependent mostly upon agriculture. It is a small and sleepy town throughout the year. However it becomes the centre of attraction and activity during the Sammakka and Sarakka fair held biannually every even year. Sammakka Sarakka Jatara, also known as Medaram Jatara is a big fair held here.
This fair is held in the honor of tribal Goddesses Sammakka and Sarakka during Magha Shudha Poornima (Jan-Feb as per Gregorian calendar) once in two years. It is celebrated for four days and attracts approximately 10 million pilgrims across India, mostly from Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Orissa, and Karnataka. This Jatara is said to be the biggest and a regular gathering of tribal communities in India.
This is a tribal festival that has no Vedic or Brahmanic overtones to it. Animals and birds are sacrificed and liquor too is consumed with gay abandon at the fair. This year, Medaram Sammakka Sarakka Jatara will start on February 8th, 2012. The celebrations are held for four days. A tribal boy (belonging to Koya community), who gets a vision one week before the festival, wanders in to the thick of the forest. He keeps searching without sleep and food till he finally finds the goddess Sammakka in the form of a small vermilion casket. And Sarakka is also brought from Kanneboyinapalle (also called Kanneppally) village in the form of vermillion casket. One casket representing Sammakka, and the other one Sarakka both are tied to a piece of bamboo. The Pujas (worship) begin once the vermilion caskets are placed on the platform under the Nagavruksham tree at the temple. Such holy platforms are set up in the nearby villages as well; once the news of beginning of the worship at Medaram gets passed on to the other villages the worships there also begin accordingly. Many devotees get very high and behave like possessed by the Goddess.
People in this region believe that, Goddesses Sammakka and Sarakka have divine and curing powers and would certainly fulfill their desires. Devotees seek blessings for prosperity, happiness, peace, success and health. Married couples with no offspring visit to pray Sammakka Sarakka Jatara for children. Once their desires are fulfilled they visit again for thanksgiving. Before visiting the main temple, devotees take a holy bath in Jampanna Vagu which is considered highly auspicious (a water pass way named after Jampanna, son of Sammakka) and located close to the temple. Devotees offer jaggery equal to their weight which is distributed among all the devotees. This fair is getting increasingly popular due to the strong belief of devotees in the divine and curing powers of the Goddesses.
Started as a local tribal fare held biannually, this Jatara went on to attract many communities of tribals from various regions across the nation. Number of foreign tourists also visit this tribal fair and enjoy the ethnic spirit of tribal people. Colorful and beautifully decorated bullock carts are the additional attraction of this Jatara.
12 years ago, the only way to reach Medaram village was by bullock cart. In 1998, Andhra Pradesh state government officially recognized this centuries old fair, and laid a road to this village. During the fair the traffic jam sometimes goes as far as 60 km on the Warangal highway NH 202. Medaram village gets crowded with devotees pouring as early as a week before.