Snake goddess says Telangana will be a reality

Snake goddess Sumalatha

Sumalatha may have to bear the cross of being a goddess for the rest of her life, but blessing those who come to her temple with multitudes of problems is satisfying indeed.

The eldest daughter of a cotton farmer Chintalapalli Kishan Reddy and his wife Subhadra, who live in the sleepy village of Arepalli in Karimnagar district, Sumalatha passed her 10th standard in flying colours, even succeeding in securing admission at the state-run Gurukula Pathashala in the temple town of Vemulawada in Karimnagar.

However, while she rested at home during holidays, she found a yellow snake on her bed. Alone and sick, as her parents were away in the farm and siblings at school, she was terrified to see the reptile.

“The snake appeared after a while, but I managed to pull away the sheets and threw the snake on the floor,” Sumalatha told Deccan Herald. With the help of the neighbours, her father killed the snake, which, Subhadra said, brought geat misfortune to the family.

“After that incident, we lost everything. My husband sold his assets and invested the money on a trip to the gulf in search of a lucrative job only to realise later that the offers that lured him were all fake,” she said narrating how she even tried to end her life.  

Things started to improve when the elder daughter decided to devote herself to the snakes. “When we went on an excursion from our school to Bhadrachalam, a miracle man appeared and told me that I’m special and am created to solve the problems of people around me,” Sumalatha said.

That was all she needed to return home and announce her intentions to marry the snake god. At a temple she has built on the outskirts of Arepalli, devotees offer prayers to Sumalatha, who is said to be the ‘Nagadevata’ for several villages in Karimnagar. She even said to behave like a snake on the Nagapanchami day.

“I’ve no regrets,” she said of her choice to serve the community as a spiritual guide. “From my position (as a Nagadevata) I bless childless, the sick and the needy. The money they offer is enough for me to maintain the temple.”

Said to have powers to make accurate predictions of the future, Sumalatha has said that Telangana will be a reality. She also brushed aside the 2012 dooms-day predictions.
Local journalist Vijender, who has been writing about Sumalatha for a long time, said the euphoria around the god woman has died down.

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