Nagoba Jatara 2023: Telangana's Tribal Festival Worshipping The Serpent God Commences

Nagoba Jatara 2023: Telangana's Tribal Festival Worshipping The Serpent God Commences On Saturday - Sakshi Post

ADILABAD: Nagoba Jatara the second largest annual tribal festival began at Keslapur village, Inderavelly Mandal in the Adilabad district, of Telangana state in India. This festival got off to a glorious start on Saturday and is celebrated by the Mesaram and Pardhan clans of the Adivasi Gond tribes for a period of ten days.

Thousands of tribals from Telangana and Maharastra and other surrounding Central states gathered in huge numbers at  Keslapur village for the fest. This year the festivities are being conducted in the new temple constructed by the Mesram clan, and as per reports they have raised Rs 5 Crore for the new Nagoba temple at Keslapur.

The descendants of the  Buigota clan of the Mesram tribe who conduct the Nagoba Jatara had come three days prior to the festival and were stationed at the  ‘Vadamara’ forests (banyan trees) for three days, and performed the ‘Thum pujas’ (rituals for the dead) and reached the Nagoba temple on Saturday morning.

As per the practice, the Nagoba festival commences on Amavasya at midnight in the month of Pushya as per the Hindu calendar. The Mesram tribe's spiritual leaders first anoint Nagoba with holy Godavari waters at the stroke of midnight on the Pushya Amavasya day marking the beginning of the festival.

The Mesram descendants performed special pujas commemorating Nagoba by following the rituals from Sunday. The Mesram clansmen and elders (Patels) camped at a forest area near the temple and conducted ‘thum puja’ for 84 people early on Saturday morning. Pushya Amavasya is considered highly pertinent for the tribals to perform rituals in respect of their dead ancestors on this day.

After these rituals on Saturday, the Mesram tribals took the idol of Nagendra and reached the temple with much fanfare amidst the sound of drums and other tribal instruments.

As per the custom, the Mesram tribals performed puja to the earthen pots brought from Sirikonda mandal. Women from 22 sects of the Mesram tribe paid salutations to the tribal elders and religious priests of their clan and received earthen pots from the Naikpad. They later brought the holy water from a lake near the Vadamara to the Nagoba temple.

The old mounds or the anthills that signify the snake pits ( the anthills were prayed to in the earlier years which were later removed to build the temple now), built with mud last year were removed and new mounds were made in their place by the men from the clan and this was given to the women and who would then offer prayers to the 'Sathi Devathas'. Another called called ‘bheting’, is conducted to welcome the new brides into the clan.

After the rituals, the  Mesram clansmen reached ‘Gowada’ – a circular walled place where they will stay for the coming 10 days of the festival.The Mesram and Pardhan clan of Gonds, consider Nagoba or Nagendra as their main progenitor and congregate at Keslapur for the annual jatara to worship the serpent God in the Pushya Masam (month) which falls between January and February months every year.

As per legend, the serpent god Nagoba had come down to this place to punish a tribal kind. He was later pacified after the Gonds gave seven varieties of offerings to appease him. The rituals and prayers to the serpent God continue to this day for the progeny of the Gond tribes. It is said that the legend of Nagoba by Pardhan musicians is recited by the tribals on these ten days.

Tribals from several states, Telangana government officials, and public representatives attended the Mahapuja on Sunday. Union Tribal Minister Arjun Munda and BJP state president and Karimnagar MP Bandi Sanjay are slated to attend the Nagoba festival on Monday. The Minister will leave Hyderabad by helicopter at 10 am and reach Keslapur at 11 am and pay obeisance to the Nagoba tribal deity. The leaders will participate in various programs along with the tribesman as part of the festivities.

Also Read: Telangana Assembly Budget Session from February 3

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