The Kumbh Mela is a festival that is celebrated with huge fervour in North India. This festival sees the highest number of pilgrims at one single place. The Samakka Saralamma festival is believed by many to attract a large number of pilgrims, next only to Kumbh Mela. Just like Kumbh Mela, this tribal festival too attracts a lot of foreign tourists who are spellbound by experiencing the culture, heritage and history of the tribal population. This festival is held during the month of February once every two years. It is celebrated for four days with great zeal. The venue for this festival is the town of Medaram in Warrangal district. Medaram is a place that is located in a dense wildlife sanctuary of Eturnagaram. This is also the largest forest belt existing today in Deccan region. This place is located at a distance of around 90km from Warrangal city.

Samakka and Saralamma are famous tribal Goddesses where Samakka is the mother and Saralamma is the daughter. These two Goddesses fought against the kings who ruled this part of the city as their rule was not honest and fair. They fought against the rulers for the welfare of the people and hence they are worshipped even today with utmost sincerity and dedication. This festival not only attracts the tribal population of Andhra Pradesh, but it also serves as a perfect platform for the tribal population from the states of Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Karnataka to get together and pray to Goddesses for their welfare.

t was estimated that during 2008, around 8 million people had thronged Warrangal city to attend this festival. During 2012, this figure grew to a phenomenal 10 million. In 2013, more than one crore pilgrims from across the globe participated in this festival. This festival is full of celebration in praise of the Goddesses who saved them from the unjust rulers. There are no Vedic aspects attached to this festival. Until 1998, pilgrims had a tough time reaching Medaram since the only available mode of transport was a bullock cart. However, sensing the huge amount of people flowing into the city with every passing year, roads were constructed. During the time of Samakka Saralamma festival, traffic in Warrangal city queues up to a distance of around 60km.

During this festival, people perform Thulabaram (that is they offer objects equivalent to their body weight) to the Goddesses. In this festival, the main offering done against the pilgrim’s weight is jiggery. After this offering, tourists take a holy tip in the Jampanna Vagu, where Jampanna is believed to be the son of tribal Goddess Samakka and Vagu denotes stream. Jampanna died during the battle against the Kakatiyan Kings. The stream is red in colour due the soil nature here, however people believe that it denotes Jampanna sacrificing his life for the welfare of his tribal community. One can find a bridge, Jampanna Vagu Bridge constructed over this stream. It is believed that the Tribal Goddesses become very happy when the people celebrate the festival in huge fervour and make the offerings in jiggery.

Medaram is a small village in the forest area of the Mulugu taluk of Warangal district. Here Sammakka Jatara is celebrated once in two years on a very large – scale for three days before Magha.  Purnima Sammaka is a tribal goddess and the patrons and the priests are Koyas. All the tribals of Mulugu area and the thousands of other Hindus congregate there during the celebrations. There is no permanent idol of the deity. A Koya tribal boy who gets a vision before the festival roams about in the forest for a week without food and sleep and finally brings the goddess in the farm of vermilion caskets, one representing the main duty sammakka and the other her daughter Sarakka both tied to a piece of bamboo. This is installed on an earthen platform raised under a tree. Animals are sacrificed and vows are redeemed, intoxicants are widely used.  Hundreds of people who are often possessed by the goddess come there dancing ecstatically throughout their journey. The special offering to the deity is jaggery which collects in huge piles. Those who fulfill vows offer jaggery equal to their weight and jaggery is distributed asprasadam.  More than lakh of people congregate every day.