Adilabad- The annual Nagoba Jatara, a significant religious and cultural event for the Mesram clan in the Raj Gond community, commenced with grandeur and traditional fervor at Keslapur village on Friday evening. The week-long holy ceremony, under the supervision of Mesram Venkat Rao and priests Kosu, began with the performance of Maha Puja and Satheek Puja, marking the closing of the shrine gates between 9 pm and 11 pm.
Earlier, the women of the Mesram clan, led by men, brought holy water from a sacred pond in clay pots to cleanse the shrine, conduct rituals, and prepare dishes. Following these customary practices, the Mesrams honored the presence of dignitaries, including Khanapur MLA Vedma Bojju, Collector Rahul Raj, ITDA Utnoor in-charge project officer Khushbu Gupta, and SP Gaush Alam at the inaugural ceremony. The tribal community was granted permission to visit the temple and offer special prayers from midnight onwards.
A highlight of the first day was the Bheting ceremony, a formal introduction of new daughters-in-law to the deity. Approximately 100 women from clan families participated, making them eligible to offer prayers at the temple. As part of the ritual, the women were presented with clay pots by their elders.
Upcoming events in the week-long celebration include Persapen and Bankapen Puja on February 11, Praja Darbar for grievance redressal on February 12, and Betal Puja and Mandagajling Puja on February 13. During Betal Puja, six Raj Gond elders reportedly exhibited their ability by jumping in the air after getting possessed by the Betal god, showcasing their fighting skills with large sticks representing the deity.
Around 600 policemen were deployed to prevent inconvenient incidents at the fair. The event organizers have also ensured a well-prepared infrastructure, including a lighting system, drinking water facilities, temporary toilets, and designated parking lots, to ensure the smooth conduct of the affair.
Nagoba Jatara stands as the second-largest gathering of tribals from various parts of Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh, following the biennial Sammakka-Saralamma Jatara at Medaram in the Mulugu district. The festivities are expected to continue with religious zeal and cultural fervor over the coming days, drawing participants and spectators alike from far and wide.