Nagoba Jatara Temple & History

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#NagobaJataraHistory #AdilabadTourism #SnakeFestival

Introduction:

A tribal festival of Telangana, Nagoba Jatara is a special attraction and rare festival of Gond tribes. It is the second biggest tribal carnival and it is celebrated by Mesaram clan of Gond tribes for 10 days. The Nagoba Jatara Temple is located near Keslapur village in Indervelli Revenue Mandal of Adilabad district, Telangana State. It is the most important religious festival event for the Adivasi Gond tribe. Where it is the part of Telangana tourism.

In 2015, Telangana Government identifies it as the Telangana jatara and to celebrate it in a grand manner.

Nagoba Jatara History:

Gond Darma Guruvu: Pahundi Pari Kupar Lingo.

The history and relevance of the darbar instituted in 1946 by none other than the legendary anthropologist Christopher von Furer-Haimendorf. He spent forty years of his life doing fieldwork in Northeast India and in the central region of what is now the state of Telangana and in Nepal.

The aim of instituting a darbar was for the government to find instant solutions to the grievances of Adivasis. The darbar was in tune with the Gond Adivasi practice of getting grievances redressed by the concerned Mokashi or Raja during religious events like jataras. He will be the

Professor Haimendorf, who as Advisor to the Nizam’s government on Backward Classes and Tribal affairs, is known to have recommended to the Nizam in 1945 to start the darbar at Keslapur as he found the Nagoba jatara a conducive event for Gond tribals of all denominations to congregate. After Nizam’s Hyderabad was merged with Indian Union, the new entity ran the annual darbar under the aegis of Revenue department until the advent of Integrated Tribal Development Agency in 1976.

In ruins

The old darbar hall, now in ruins, was built in 1953 about 500 meters away from the Nagoba temple. It came into disuse after a new darbar hall was constructed closer to the temple in 1986.

Nagoba Jatara Temple:

The Mesaram clan of Gonds, which considers as Nagoba or Nagendra its ‘Mool Purush’ or progenitor, also known as Shesh Nag, is the divine serpent of Lord Shiva will
gather at Keslapur for the annual jatara to worship the serpent, God. Nagoba is revered by the Gond and Pandhar tribes.

Nagoba Jatara Temple
Nagoba Jatara Temple

The Pushya month, which starts in a month January, is sacred for Adivasi Gonds and Kolams who visit temples of clan Gods and other deities. the most famous of them being the cave temple of Jangubai situated in a picturesque spot in the forest near Maharajguda
village on the Adilabad-Maharashtra border in Kota-Parandoli gram panchayat of Kerameri Revenue mandal in Adilabad district, Telangana.

Every year they celebrate their devotion to the serpent God through the Keslapur Jatara or the Nagoba Jatara. Gonds and Pardhans tribal people from Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh belonging to the Mesram clan arrive at this holy place of Keslapur and offer prayers at the festival.

The deity of the serpent god Nagoba which is a brass one installed sometime in the early 1980s.

Nagoda Jatara Idol
Nagoda Jatara Idol SOURCE: dtejasv.wordpress.com

Nagoba Jatara Celebrations:

  • Rituals performed at Keslapur Nagoba Jatara begin in the morning, the Mesram elders will place the sacred ‘jhari’, a 1,400-year-old water container before performing it’s puja.
  • The group of Gond and Pradhan elders who had fetched holy water with pots from Hastina Madugu of river Godavari in Jannaram Mandal was given a traditional welcome
    under the old banyan tree.
  • Before the start of the pujas, the Gonds continue to ‘purify’ the temple with Ganga Jal or water from the Godavari drawn at a spot called ‘Hastina Madugu’ where Nagoba is
    believed to have quenched his thirst after partaking the ‘naivedyam’.
  • The event also includes a ceremony called ‘bheting’, which incorporates new brides into the clan. The Raj Gond Adivasis of Adilabad follow an elaborate ritual called Bheting, one of their many regalistic ceremonies, through which new daughters in law are formally introduced to the clan. All those who are married into the clan
    during the last year need to ‘meet’ clan deities through Bheting so that they become eligible to enter the deity’s temple.
  • The women clad in white saris are the Bheti Koriad or daughters in law to be introduced to goddess Jangubai and belong to the eight clans which have Jangubai as the clan deity.
Women in White Saris at Nagoba Jatara
Women in White Saris at Nagoba Jatara SOURCE: THEHINDU
  • In above image, the naivedyam carried in the bamboo baskets is made of freshly harvested food grains. The bamboo denotes the connection of the Gonds with the jungles while the naivedyam offering is a matter of thanksgiving for the crop harvested.
  • Adivasi celebrates with music and more than 15 types of dances.
  • The Gusadi Dance performance by dancers from the Gond tribe is a major special attraction of the event.
  • Gonds pilgrims and priests will play traditional folk music at the entrance of the Jangubai cave temple located in the hilly forest of Kota-Parandoli gram panchayat in Kerameri Revenue Mandal.
  • Later Gond women carry on with their daily grind, including grinding grain, with a smile on their face.
  • The women in the given group coming on pilgrimage to Jangubai caves prepare food at the spot, a small shed having been earmarked for the purpose.
  • In the night, the Gonds performed the Mahapuja of Nagoba, also known as Persa Pen or great god, which marks the actual beginning of the annual tribal fair.

How To Reach:

To reach Nagoba Jatara from Adilabad district center, the distance is of 32 km.
From Hyderabad: 326 km
From Karimnagar: 183 Km
From Warangal district: 235 Km
From Hanmkonda, the distance to travel is of 241 Km.

Via BUS:

The TSRTC buses from major cities like Hyderabad, Hanamkonda, Warangal, Karimnagar is available up to Utnoor Taluk (Mandal), located in the Adilabad district. From Uttnoor tourists can avail local transport to reach Keslapur.

Via Train:

At present, No Direct train for nagonda but, the Sirpur Kagaznagar Rail Way Station near to Kagaznagar, located at a distance of 23 km from Keshlapur is easily reachable from near by towns.

However, the Kazipet Railway Junction located at a distance of 174 KM from Keshlapur is a major railway junction.

Via AIR:
Accommodation:
Uttnoor Taluk offers some basic accommodation facilities. There are one guest house and another R&B guest house in the nearby Uttnoor taluk.

Special Thanks to S. Harpal Singh (The Hindu)