Pochamma is a village deity who is known for warding of evils and protecting the village. Pochamma`s idol has some affinity with the idol of Goddess Kali
. She is also known for creating problems and difficulties for people if any disloyalty is shown towards her. She creates diseases like measles, smallpox and rashes on the body. Small pox changes the complexion of the person. In Adilabad district
, Pochamma is known as Gajjelamma. The idol is made of wood and is placed near a neem tree. Her usually wears a white saree and sometimes yellow. The devotees make small idols of her and place them in the temple. The husband of Posamma known as Adavi Mahamuni is regarded as the guardian of all animals, insects and trees in the forest. He used to start on his journey on Thursday and reach his wife on Friday. In her next birth, she is called Mutyalamma.
There are two kinds of Pochammas, one is Karri Pochamma or Black Pochamma, and the other is Yerra Pochamma or Red Pochamma. Karri Pochamma is believed to be more powerful than Yerra Pochamma.
Worship of Pochamma
The festival of Bonala panduga and Pochamma panduga are performed in villages. Baineedlu recite the story of Pochamma. During the festival men dress in female attire and perform the puja. There are many things that are required during the festivals. Few of them are Dappu, Jamidika, white sarees
, jackets with mirrors, goats, cocks, Kudukalu, shells, nuts, date fruits, Iripala biyyam. In any such festival, the feast is followed by toddy. It is believed that if the goddess is provided with these items it makes her happy and transforms herself from being a malicious goddess into a benevolent one. If children are attacked by any disease it is known as Balaposamma and if elders are afflicted, it is called Pedda Posamma.
There is no particular day for her worshipping Pochamma. However, people worship her on Sunday. The devotees have to do `Jogu` in five houses and perform puja. They also take `bonalu` and perform `Arati` to the idols and go round the temple. The bonalu is then kept in front of the temple by the devotees. The idols are adorned with white and yellow sarees and incense sticks are also burnt. The eyes of the goddess are prepared with silver or aluminium. The Dappu is played to create a festival atmosphere.
The festival of `Oradipanduga` is celebrated with much enthusiasm by the Pochamma devotees in Adilabad district. This festival is meant to ward off any calamity in the surrounding areas. They feed the buffalo which is to be sacrificed and in the evening it is sacrificed to the goddess.