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Sankranthi Sambaralu: A slice of tradition in the heart of Tech City

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The Times Of India
14th January, 2021 06:15 IST

Shilparamam has been abuzz with celebratory fervour as the five-day-long ‘ Sankranthi Sambaralu’ kicked off on Tuesday morning. Welcoming onlookers with colourful sights and sounds of festivities reminiscent of towns and villages, the annual extravaganza created a very rustic, native vibe bang in the heart of Hitec City in Madhapur. There was a little bit of everything — right from the Haridasu walking around with jingling bells around his ankles, collecting offerings in exchange for his charming sing-song story sessions to vibrant folk performances to intricate muggulu in every hue imaginable! The star act of the show, as always, was the Gangireddula Vinyasalu.

Gangireddula vinyasalu: A game of trust
The heavily decked up Gangireddu balancing on its handler’s shoulders, chest and even head, is an act that never fails to impress. One wrong move and he could easily get crushed, whisper onlookers. The bull handler, Nagaraju, says, “We have been performing this artform for over a decade. My bull is trained. I trust him, he does the same....”

‘It takes eight months to tame a bull and even longer to pull off stunts like these’
The stunt that stunned onlookers into silence was when Nagaraju let his bull gently grab his neck with its mouth! A little boy in the crowd wondered aloud if the man’s head would be bitten off. Talking about his rare act, Nagaraju says, “I learnt this one from my father. When I saw the kind of response people in Medak had to this particular performance, I decided to perform this in the city as well.” Komaraiah, also a Gangireddu artiste, explains, “It takes eight long months to tame a bull, but a stunt like this takes even longer. We have to ensure both the bull and the man aren’t hurt. At the end of the day, it’s a game of trust. We’ve been doing this forever, so it’s in our blood.”

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