Attired in their traditional dress, tribal people made a beeline for Medaram on Wednesday.
Women swathed in turmeric, sporting huge bindi and leaving their hair unplaited, carried lumps of jaggery dancing to the tunes of percussion instruments.
Some carried pots beautifully decorated with garlands of marigolds, containing food cooked with harvested rice. Some of them holding neem leaves, sporting huge garlands and adeptly balancing the pots on their head went into a trance.
Called Siva Sattulu, some of the frenzied men and women danced endlessly as the people gathered around them. The common folk prostrated before them shooting questions about their future, particularly wanting to know whether there would be copious rain the next season.
Hundreds of shops selling sweet candies and toys have been attracting the children while the garments shops, entertainment centres such as recording dance troupes, magic shows, exhibitions, gambling centres and fortune tellers are drawing huge crowds.
Legend has it that the tribal lord – Medaraju – ruling this part of the area failed to pay royalty to the Kakatiya ruler Prataparudra-II of eighth century owing to continued drought situation.
Considering the non–payment of royalty as defiance, the imperial army invaded the area.
Fighting the mighty Kakatiya army, Medaraju and his daughter Sammakka and her daughter Sarakka sacrificed their lives.
Fatally attacked Sammakka left towards Chilkalgutta and then disappeared. A casket of vermilion was found at ‘Nemalinara tree’ (Indian elm tree) where she was last seen.
Tribal pujaris return in trance carrying vermilion casket and a bamboo stick wrapped in a red cloth. They install it at the altar at Medaram village during jatara.
Ever since, the tribal people have revered Sammakka and Sarakka for their bravery and offer prayers.