Thursday, February 21, 2008
From The Times of India (Hyderabad): Sea of humanity at Medaram Jatara 22 Feb 2008, 0327 hrs IST,TNN MEDARAM (WARANGAL): It was a sea of humanity as over 25 lakh people swarmed the 'gaddelu' or platforms at the jatara site to have a glimpse of Sammakka goddess on Thursday even as lakhs of women and young girls swathed in turmeric danced in a trance. The deity of Sammakka was brought from the Chilkalgutta hillock in the deep forest area by the tribal priests in the evening and placed by the side of Sarakka on the gaddelu as the devotees jostled with one another to pay reverence to the goddess. While the deities of Sammakka's husband Pagididda Raju was brought from Poonugondla of Kothaguda mandal, Sarakka's husband Govindarajulu was brought from Kondai of Eturunagaram mandal amid drum beats and placed along side the goddesses. Superintendent of police Soumya Mishra fired three rounds in the air to signal the arrival of Sammakka from the forest area. With Sammakka and Sarakka deities mounted on the platforms, devotees' joy knew no bounds as they swayed to the folk songs and raucous drum beats. The pilgrim rush which was around 20 lakh on Wednesday reached its peak with almost 40-45 lakh congregating at the jatara site on Thursday evening. Millions of devotees, who waited in serpentine queues for the arrival of Sammakka, sang hymns in praise of the deities even as shrieks of 'Sammakka-Sarakka thalli... mammamalanu kapadu thalli (save us mother)' reverberated the area. Even as the literate and illiterate, young and old and men and women made a beeline to the gaddelu, young girls ran after 'Shiva Sathis' and 'Devara Lakshmis' to seek their blessings. According to reports, 12 persons, including four policemen, were injured at mela on Thursday. Nearly 100 people were affected due to diarrhoea. Collector K Damayanthi, joint collector K S Srinivasa Raju and the SP monitored the arrangements and allayed the pilgrims' fears saying sufficient health camps have been set up to take care of patients.