Occasion of Tirupati Ganga Jatara
Tirupati Ganga Jatara is celebrated on the 2nd Tuesday of May. This festival is to offer prayers to the goddess Gangamma, who is treated as the Grama Devatha (the goddess looking after the village).
Importance of Tirupati Ganga Jatara
Sri Thathaya Gunta Gangamma is Grama Devatha of Tirupati town. Once upon a time when Tirupati and surrounding areas are ruled by "Palegondulu", harassment on women was enormous - they use to rape and harass any woman seen. During this time, in a village "Avilala", the Goddess Gangamma was born and grew into most beautiful women. When the Palegondulu wanted to harm Goddess Gangamma, she with her grace and power tried to kill him. Palegondulu, fearing her, hid in a remote place. To take him out of hiding, the Gangamma planned "Ganga Jathra" where the people in Tirupathi do vichitra veshadarana and curse Gangamma for a period of 7 days. On the seventh day, the "Palegondulu" comes out of hiding and is killed by Goddess Gangamma for the "Loka Kalyanam" (well being of all people).
Tirupati Ganga Jatara in Thathaya Gunta Gangamma Temple
Ganga Jatara is the folk festival of Tirupati, begins with the formal Chatimpu (announcement) around midnight of Tuesday. The Gangamma Jatara is a very famous local festival for the People of Tirupati. It is done every year in month of May. As the Gangamma temple was in banks of Thathaya gunta, the temple is famous as "Thathaya Gunta Gangamma Temple".
Rituals in Thathaya Gunta Gangamma Temple
The priests performed the initiatory rituals and tied 'Vadibalu' to the 'Viswaroopa Sthambam' in front of the temple that set the stage for the fete. Men making the 'Chatimpu' roamed through the old town beating 'dappus' to announce that the festival had begun and hence the residents should not leave the town till the festival is over. Priests made the traditional huge clay idol of the goddess at the temple's portico. Every one during the festival come and prays the goddess by offering her Pongal, Sarees, Turmeric and kukuma. During the last day of festival portico, turmeric will be smashed it into pieces at the auspicious moment. The devotees then clamoured around to get the clay smithereens, which they consider as sacred, to be either preserved in the Puja' room or consumed by mixing it in water. Though there is a ban on animal sacrifice, goats and fowls were chopped at will at a corner of Thathaya Gunta Gangamma Temple.
|More Articles in Andhra Pradesh Temple Festivals (7)|