IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


6th October, 2023 Art & Culture

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The recent approval of the Sarakka Central Tribal University in Telangana is a significant development that reflects the cultural and historical importance of the Sammakka-Sarakka festival in the region.


The Legend of Sammakka and Sarakka

  • Sammakka and Sarakka were a legendary mother-daughter duo from the Dandakaranya region, now part of Telangana, who lived several centuries ago.
  • Sammakka, married to feudal chief Pagididda Raju of the Kakatiya dynasty, and her daughters Sarakka, Nagulamma, and Jampanna played pivotal roles in resisting oppressive rulers and taxation on the Koya tribal people.
  • Saralamma, one of Sammakka's daughters, sacrificed her life during the battle against local rulers, and Sammakka, after her disappearance, was believed to have transformed into a vermillion casket.
  • The legend of Sammakka and Sarakka is deeply ingrained in the local tribal community's history and traditions.

Sammakka Saralamma Jatara

  • The Sammakka-Sarakka Jatara is a biennial tribal festival celebrated in Medaram, Telangana. It is one of the largest gatherings of tribal people globally.
  • The festival commemorates the courage and resistance of Sammakka and Sarakka and their fight against taxation and oppression.
  • Initially attended by around 2,000 people, the festival has grown to attract millions of devotees, making it one of India's largest religious gatherings.
  • It is often referred to as the "Kumbh Mela of the tribals" and has gained recognition for its cultural and spiritual significance.

Political and Social Resonance

  • The Sammakka Sarakka Jatara holds immense political and social significance in Telangana.
  • It was declared a state festival in 1996, highlighting its cultural importance.
  • The festival has seen participation from various tribal and non-tribal communities, including devotees from Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Jharkhand.
  • Both the state government of Telangana and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs actively participate in and support the festival, contributing to its growth and infrastructure development.
  • The festival's popularity has led to increased government funding for its organization and related infrastructure projects.

Sarakka Central Tribal University

  • The Sarakka Central Tribal University, approved by the Union cabinet, is set to be established in Mulugu district, Telangana, with an estimated cost of Rs 889 crore.
  • This university fulfills a commitment made by the Central government under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, to establish tribal universities in both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
  • The university aims to promote tribal education and culture, further connecting the academic and cultural significance of the Sammakka-Sarakka legend.


The Sammakka-Sarakka festival in Telangana, known for its historical and cultural significance, has played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Sarakka Central Tribal University. This university is not only a fulfillment of a government commitment but also a tribute to the resilience and heritage of tribal communities. It reflects the strong connection between cultural traditions, spirituality, and education in the region.


Q.   Which of the following statements about the Sammakka-Sarakka Jatara is correct?

1. It is celebrated annually in Telangana.

2. Sammakka and Sarakka were rulers during the Kakatiya dynasty.

3. The festival commemorates the resistance against taxation and oppression by Sammakka and Sarakka.


a.1 and 2

b.2 and 3

c.3 only

d.1, 2 and 3

Answer: c