Mancherial: Revellers of biennial Sammakka Saralakka Jatara celebrated the recent jatara in a grand way.
They spent more funds on partying than on travelling and purchasing offerings. They bought alcohol worth Rs 1.27 crore every day during the four-day long religious affair.
Mancherial district saw an abnormal spurt in sale of liquor during the recently concluded tribal fair. The value of IML sold from January 31 to Feb 3 was Rs 5.10 crore, showing a rise of 154 per cent as against the cost of sales that accounted for Rs 3.30 crore in 2016.
Generally, the daily cost of sales does not clock Rs 1 crore in the district. It’s Rs 99 lakh per day, according to information provided by Prohibition and Excise Department, Mancherial district unit.
Traditionally, majority of devotees offer liqour or toddy and sacrifice chicken or goat or sheep to the tribal deities. After offering prayers and having darshan of goddesses, they consume alchohol. Women are also allowed to join these parties.
Therefore, sales of alcohol goes up drastically at the time of the fair, touted to be the second largest congregation in the country after Khumb Mela which is celebrated in north India once every 12 years.
People belonging to coal belt towns of Mancherial, Mandamarri, Srirampur, Bellampalli and Ramakrishnapur apparently allocated more funds to buy liquor as indicated by the sales of alcohol in the district. The sales of chicken, goat and sheep, and jaggery purchased between January 31 and February 3 is accounted to be below Rs 4 crore.
Besides alcohol or toddy, the devotees presented jaggery equivalent to the weight of their family members, sari and bangles to the deities as a token of gratitude for fulling their desires and for protecting them from diseases. They would break coconuts and get tonsured as well.