Sammakka and Sarakka: The Revered Mother-Daughter Duo
The Legend of Sammakka and Sarakka: In a heartwarming gesture of recognition, the Union cabinet has given the green light to the establishment of the Sarakka Central Tribal University in Telangana, set to flourish in the Mulugu district with an investment of Rs 889 crore. This educational institution bears the name of the legendary tribal figures, Sammakka and Sarakka, who hold a special place in the hearts of the local tribal community. Unveiling the Tale of Sammakka and Sarakka:
Sammakka was united in marriage with Pagididda Raju, a prominent leader from the Kakatiya dynasty, rulers of the Warangal region during the 13th century.
Together, they were blessed with two daughters, Sarakka (Saralamma) and Nagulamma, along with a son named Jampanna.
The historical narrative takes a poignant turn as Sarakka's life was tragically cut short during a fierce battle waged against local rulers, protesting the burdensome tax regime.
In the midst of this upheaval, Sammakka mysteriously vanished into the hills, leaving behind an enduring legacy.
The local Koya tribals embraced a profound belief that Sammakka had undergone a transformation, transcending into a vermilion casket.
The Majestic Sammakka Saralamma Jatara:
Every two years, the town of Mulugu comes alive with the vibrant celebration of the Sammakka Saralamma Jatara, often likened to the Kumbh Mela for tribal communities.
This extraordinary festival pays homage to the indomitable spirit of the mother-daughter duo, who valiantly stood against the unjust taxation imposed on the Koya people.
Remarkably, the Sammakka Saralamma Jatara boasts one of the most massive congregations of devotees in the country, trailing only behind the renowned Kumbh Mela.
A staggering 1.5 crore devotees, hailing from diverse tribal and non-tribal backgrounds, converge to partake in this grand festival, with participants traveling from Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and beyond.
Recognizing its significance, the Samakka-Sarakka Jatara was accorded the status of a state festival in 1996.
Political and Cultural Reverberations:
The Sammakka Saralamma Jatara draws active participation from the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs and the Telangana state government, including the Chief Minister.
Significant financial support, amounting to Rs 6.25 crore, has been allocated by the central government for the Jatara's conduction during 2018, 2020, and 2022, in addition to separate funding for the development of community shelters and related infrastructure.
The Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned an impressive Rs. 75.88 crore for the integrated development of a tribal circuit, encompassing Mulugu, Laknavaram, Medavaram, Tadvai, Damaravi, Mallur, and Bogatha Waterfalls, where the Sammakka-Sarakka temple finds its sacred abode.
Situated in the heart of this cultural tapestry is Mulugu, an assembly seat exclusively reserved for Scheduled Tribes (ST), boasting a population of approximately 2.6 lakhs as per the 2011 Census, with a striking 75% ST populace.
The region is also graced by the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ramappa Temple, located just 15 km away from Mulugu.
The Saga of Sarakka Central Tribal University:
The inception of the Sarakka Central Tribal University stands as a testament to the commitment made by the Central government through the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.
This act led to the bifurcation of the erstwhile state of Andhra Pradesh, resulting in the formation of Telangana, following the Telangana movement.
While both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana were promised support for the establishment of a tribal university each, the journey for the Telangana tribal university encountered challenges due to the delayed allocation of 500-600 acres of land.
The legendary tale of Sammakka and Sarakka, intricately woven into the cultural fabric of Telangana, now graces the landscape as a symbol of knowledge and empowerment through the Sarakka Central Tribal University.