Chittor Nadi Veedhi Gangamma Jathara:
This is the most important festival of the city and being rejoiced since 350 years. Unlike regular Jatharas in the district, the Chittoor Jatara is unique and exceptional because there is no temple dedicated to the Goddess Gangamma. Her idol is made up of clay and turmeric, and is installed on the busy street during the festival. After the Jatara, the idol is immersed in a near tank.
The story of Chittor Nadi Veedhi Gangamma Jathara is as follows; Once upon a time, Chittoor became victim of a deadly epidemic plague. The village head decided to cleanse the city Chittoor with turmeric water and neem. So eventually, this Jathara became a crucial ritual of the city nad is now being celebrated every year.
Chittoor Gangamma Jaathara falls on a Tuesday in the mid period of May. The nimarjanam is also being celebrated in this day and the Jathara is usually attended by lakhs of devotees.
Literally, a week prior to the commencement of the Jathara, the alayaa conducted a program called ‘Chatimpu’ which declares date of the festival. As per beliefs, after Chatimpu, the village should not step out of the boundaries until they get darshan (catch glimpses) of the goddess.
On the first day of Jathara, the devotees offering ‘Tholi Puja’ to the goddess, it is the time period when people of Chittoor offer ‘Ambali’ to the goddess and in the afternoon they offer as prasadam (Prasad).
The second day is the main event wherein the devotees arrive at the Gangamma temple in large numbers. They start the nimajan proceedings by doing puja. Then Om Shakthi Bhaktha yathra follows. The Om Shakthi Bhakths means the devotees then perform some daring actions to impress their god.
They pierce their tongues with a Trishool and then insert iron hangers into their backs to try and pull huge tractors and cars.
The highlight of this festival is that thousands of people from the entire Chittoor district and from the neighbouring States of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka arrive in the Chittoor town in order to take part in this ultimate Jathara and their relatives also invite them to attend this Jathara ceremony.
The festivities started on the first day at midnight, where approximately around thousands of people arrive here to catch glimpses of the consecration of the idol. After pujas, devotees can attend the Jathra.
This festival usually goes on till Wednesday evening and it started on Tuesday. During this festival people wear dress as per their vows. Thousands of women engaged in lighting of ghee lamps at these temples.
Tirupathi Sri Thathaya Gunta Gangamma Jathara story:
As per legend, once upon a time, Tirupati and its nearby areas were ruled by ‘Palegondlu’. The Palegondlu was infamous for his oppressive nature of molesting the women of the region on several occasions. In this period, in a village named ‘Avilala’, the goddess gangamma was believed to have born. She grew up to be a very beautiful young woman catch the eye of the Palegondlu.
The perverted Palegondlu tried to molest which incensed her. She burst out in anger and tried to kill him. Fearing the rage of the goddess, the Palegondlu got hidden somewhere to save him from gangamma.
Eventually, the Palegondlu stepped out of the hidden place after a few days and got killed by Gangamma. The ritual has been performed in similar style years after year.
The Gangamma temple is regarded as the “Thathaya Gunta Gangamma Temple”. People worship this goddess and have massive trust on the god. Every, Tuesdays and Fridays “Pongallu” is offered to the deity.
Day 0: Chatimpu
Day 1: Bhairagi Vesham
Day 2: Banda Vesham
Day 3: Thoti Vesham
Day 4: Sunnapu Gandalu
Day 5: Dora Vesham
Day 6: Mathangi Vesham
Day 7: Gangamma Jatara
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