Adilabad: The annual Sri Nagoba Jatara got underway with members of Mesram clan performing traditional ‘Mahapuja’ to the presiding deity, Sheshnag, a serpentine god, by purifying it with holy water at Keslapur village in Indervelli mandal on Tuesday. It is an important religious and cultural affair of the clan. The ritual is observed on the night of Amavasya (Dark moon) in the month of Poos or Pushya.
The Mesrams, led by Pardhan Patadi Mesram Tukdoji and the clan Katoda priest Mesram Hanmanth Rao, ceremoniously reached the premises of the shrine from sacred banyan trees, by carrying water drawn from Godavari river in the 1,400-year old brass container, Jhari, at Hastanamadugu near Kalamadugu village in Jannaram mandal. They cleansed the idol of the presiding deity after performing customary rituals at around 11 pm. They offered respects and sought the blessings of the serpent god.
They along with elderly women organised Bheti Koriyal or Bheting, the introduction of newly wedded daughters-in-law to the deity and elders of the clan, in the evening. The daughters-in-law are allowed to take darshan of Nagoba only after this ritual. They are not permitted to do so until the ritual is organised, as per customs of the clan.
Earlier, the elders, who act as priests of the clan, distributed new pots brought from Sirikonda mandal centre to 22 families of the clan on the premises of the temple. The women, belonging to the families, ceremoniously fetched water from a holy tank situated near the trees using the pots. They prepared anthills with clay and water on the premises of the temple for Sathik, a deity worshipped by the clan.
On January 12, the Mesrams had reached the banyan trees from Kalamadugu on foot, covering a distance of 90 kilometres. They kept the container on a Modugu tree (Butea monosperma) near the banyan trees. They stayed under the tree for four days before stepping inside the shrine. They had begun the preparations for celebrating the festivities on the first of the month Poos.