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STORY OF Samakka Saralamma

It is said that once, a few tribal people went out for hunting to the forest. There, they found a girl child playing with lions. Surprised, they took the child to their home and named her ‘Sammakka’, who grew up to display various miracles, and saved people in trouble. People also called her goddess of the forest.

In those days, Medaram was being ruled by the Kakatiya kingdom’s regent Pagidigidda Raju, who got married to Sammakka. The couple bore three children -- Saralamma, Nagullamma and Jampanna. When the time came, Sammakka’s daughter Saralamma got married to Govinda Rajulu. Their relatively smooth life was interrupted after a few years when the village ended up facing severe drought and turmoil.

Since people could not pay taxes to Kakatiya rulers, who had suffered famine for three years, the government invaded tribal huts and extorted taxes.

The tribes fought against Kakatiya’s soldiers at the Laknavaram Lake near Mulugu. Pagidida Raju and his daughters Nagullamma, Saralamma and son-in-law Govinda Rajulu died in the war. Padigidda Raju’s son Jampanna died by suicide, drowning in the Sampenga Vagu, unable to bear the burden of defeat.

Embarrassed by her son's death, Sammakka went into battle and fought heroically. However, just when the Kakatiyas were in the throes of defeat, a soldier back-stabbed Sammakka and fled. Bloodied, Sammakka walked into Chilakala Gutta Hill and disappeared at the northeastern side of Medaram village.

When the tribes went on a search for Sammakka, they were greeted by a divine voice -- "The kingdom achieved with a conspiracy is not heroic." Asking people to celebrate her festival once in two years, Sammakka's voice promised to fulfill the wishes of her devotees. Kakatiya kings then abolished the taxes of the tribes and ordered the event to be conducted every two years; marking the beginning of Sammakka and Saralamma Jatara.

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