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Sabari, Bhadrachalam Overview

Dhammakka, also known as Sabari was a tribal woman and a great devotee of Lord Rama. Overwhelmed with the amount of devotion she had for him, Rama granted her salvation. Hence, Sabari took the form of a River, which later joined the River Godavari before falling into the sea.

The Sabari River flowing in the Telangana state is one of the major tributaries of river Godavari. Originating from the western slopes of the Eastern Ghats in Odisha state from the Sinkaram hill ranges at 1370m, it forms a common boundary between Chattisgarh and Odisha and later enters into Telangana to merge with River Godavari.

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Dhammakka, a tribal woman and a great devotee of Lord Rama, belonged to the family of Sabari. According to the legends, Lord Rama appeared in her dreams speaking about the existence of his idol on the hillock of Bhadrachalam. During his exile period, when Lord Rama appeared in front of her, she was overwhelmed. Being how poor she was, she did not know what to offer him. So, in order to offer him the best of whatever she had, Dhammakka began tasting each fruit and then gave it to Rama. Seeing her devotion, Rama ate the fruits without hesitation and granted her salvation. Hence, Dhammakka also known as Shabari, took the form of a river and now flows to join the river Godavari before falling into the sea.

Every year in the month of October, there is a Sabari Smruti Yatra celebrating the devotion of Sabari to Lord Rama where Adivasis from different communities come together in Bhadrachalam to participate in this religious procession. The Adivasis, clad in traditional attire, perform traditional performances like 'Kommu Koya' accompanied by loud drum beats. While performing various rituals and ceremonies, the Adivasis offer fruits and flowers from their traditional habitat to the deity. Also, the Adivasis youth sports a distinctive headgear, while demonstrating a spectacle of bows and arrows, symbolising their expertise in archery. There are various ceremonies held during the Yatra.

It takes 30-40 minutes by flight from Bhadrachalam to Sabari River via Parnasala. It takes 2 days (113 km) by a car via the same route.

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