TARA-TARINI : The Ancient Shakti Peetha of Orissa - Let us develop it together.
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BerhampurToday.com appeals to all its readers to donate whatever you can without hesitation. After all this is our own 'Shakti Peeth' and together we can develop this famous religious tourist place.
Any person donating Rs.500/- and above can be a Member
of the Tara Tarini Development Board. On becoming a Member he/she can
attend all the Meetings of the Tara Tarini Development Board and can offer
The donation for Tara Tarini Development is received through ;
Hundi, kept at the foot of the Tara Tarini Hill.
Cheque and Draft in favour of Tara Tarini Development Board
Deposit in the SBI, Main Branch, Berhampur, in A/C
No. 0110005471 , in all branches of Rushikulya Gramya Bank A/C
No.2345 and The Berhampur Central Co-operative Bank in favour of
Tara Tarini Development Board (TTDB).
The Donation in person to the Treasurer or Secretary Tara Tarini
Development Board (TTDB).
The donations shall be exempted from Income Tax U/s 80(g) of IT Act 1961
vide order No.ITO(Tech)/80G-13/2003-2004/1281
Dated, Bhubaneswar the 25th June, 2003 of Commissioner, Income Tax,
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tradition of Shakti worship in India can be
traced back to the period of
antiquity. Shakti is the
mother of Universe the highest primal power transferred to powerful
Goddess representing the creative force, Matrika,
later developed to Shakti or Prakriti under various
names of Sati or Devi (Durga / Parvati)ad depicted in Purana-etihasa
and Tantra literature. Worship
of Shakti , as a pan
-Indian phenomenon , predates
Sanskrit influences of every kind. There
are a number of important
Shakta centers in India Among those Orissa has been considered
one of the most important Shakti centre and Tara-Tarini at Kumari hills on
the bank of River Rushikulya near Purushottampur in Ganjam District is one
of the most ancient Shakti pithas
Goddesses Tara-Tarini have been regarded as the presiding
deity(Ista-Devi)in almost every house in South Orissa. This important
and famous Shakta Pitha is situated on a hill top at a distance of 30 Kms
towards north of Brahmapur on the south bank of river Rushikulya.
of the hill is approximately 708ft. and the
total area spreading over 180
Acres of land. The hill is popularly known as Tara Tarini Hill(Parvata)
and is surrounded by natural beauty . The picturesque scenery
of the temple,from the hill top down to the bank of
river Rushikulya gives immesse pleasure and a thrilling experience
of nature and divinity to each pilgrim - visitor and often captivates its
mind and soul. There are 999 steps on the front side of the
hill leading to the temple
and also a pucca road for vehicle on the backside of
the hill facilitating devotees to reach at the
Provisions of electricity,
drinking water and a small market complex at the site with articles of
puja /archana are additional features of this Pitha.
the hill top in a small but beautiful
temple appears the famous Shrine of Tara-Tarini. Worship at this
important centre of Shakta cult has been continuing since time
immeonial . Two stones anthropomorphized
by the addition of
silver ornaments and shaped
to be seen as human faces are the main Shrine of this
represents the Goddesses Tara and Tarini.In between them are placed two
fully celebrated and
beautiful brass heads as their Chalanti Pratima. It has been said
that from a tribal cult Tara-Tarini have
been transformed into Shakti cult through the process of
aryanisation.Of couse the name Tara, the Primordial deity of the Mahayana
Budhist Pantheon , indicates
Budhist influence of element in the Tara - Tarini
worship which seems to suggest the incorporation of a tribal cult
and Buddhist influence before its Hinduisation.
There are no historical and other
records to exactly show when Tantrika practices entered into the Buddhist
faith before 1st Century B.C. Some
correct inferences , however , can be made with available literature found in China, Tibet, Sinhala (Srilanka)Nepal and India. The existing
historical records do
not go beyond the great Buddhist Councils successively convened
upto the reign of Kaniska. These great Councils discussed the rise of the new
unorthodox canon , as upheld by Maha Sangikas.The
Mahavastu composed during this period show how Mahayanism
emerged in the scene during the 1st Century B.C. and
accepted into its fold all the prevalent religious doctrine , practices
belief of Buddhism and Hinduism as well . Thus, Buddhism in its historical
philosophical and social aspects , in its thought
and resultant practices accepted and incorporated Hindu Tantra relating to Shakti worship.
is believed that by the time Ashoka conqured Kalinga Empire he
found it to be a famous centre of Buddhism.Undoubtedly this part
of Orissa, particularly Ganjam region on the bank of
river Rushikulya was
very active in Buddhist pursuits. It is evident from the
Rock Edit of Ashoka found at Samapa ( modern Jaugada) ,
the capital of Southern Kalinga of Ashokan Empire
, at a
mere distance of 4 Kms.
from Tara-Tarini Hill. Though
the Special Rock Edit of
Ashoka at Jaugada has nothing to do
with Buddhism as it
especially addressed his officials , the
propagation of Buddhism in and
around this capital city of Ashoka can not be ruled
out .Hence , the
probability of worship of Tara , the primordial
deity of the Mahayana Buddhist sect at Tara-Tarini
Hill and Tara-Tarini as a famous
Buddhist Tantra Pitha since this time, can be established on the
basis of this hypothesis.
Moreover till date it has been considered as one of the
most important Tantra Pitha. Interesting a small image of of
Buddha in its meditating sitting posture, present inside the sanctum
sanctorum of the main
temple corborates the
claim of this site to the ancient centre of Shakta cult.
the worship of Tara by the Buddhist Tantrikas the maritime history
of Kalinga also suggest the worship of
Tara by the Sadhavas, merchants and
sea-men before launching their sea voyage. Once upon a
time river Rushikulya
to navigation and probably the worship of Tara has been a practice among
the people of this region involved in mari-time
activities . Even some ruins
of a brick foundation at village Mukundapur on the south bank of river
Rushiklya at the bottom of Tara-Tarini Hill and the so
called Ganda ( deep
river ) adjacent to this points to some flourishing maritime activities in
this region through river Rushikulya. Hence , on the basis of
these evidences the
worship of Shakti
at Tara-Tarini can
be traced back to a very old age.
are many interesting stories, myths legends and folklore relating to the
origin of the Tara-Tarini Shrine at the hill
top. One of the legends of
the puranic tradition connects the Shrine to
the Daksha Yagyan from which the famous Shakta Pitha of
Tara-Tarini originated from the limbs of the
Corpse of Devi or Sati. According to this legend once Daksha
Prajapati the father of Goddes Devi
Sati performed a Yagyan to which
he deliberately did
invite his daughter and her
husband Lord Siva . When Devi knew this from Narada she
permission of her husband and came
to the Yangyan site
to enquire why her father did not invite her
husband Lord Siva to the Yogyan. Daksha spoke insulting words to Lord
which were not tolerable to Sati. As a result of this
she jumped into the Yagyan
Kunda and sacrificed her
life. When Lord Siva knew this he became very angry and taking
body of Sati he started tandaba
nrutya which could have caused Mahapralaya ( vast destruction).
On the request of the Devatas, Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Sani
entered the corpse of Sati and disposed it part by part. Consequently
Shakta Pithas originated on the places where the organs of
Sati had fallen.
It is said that the breasts of
Sati fell at the Kumari Hills on the bank of river Rushikulya
and thus the famous Tara Tarini
Shakta Pitha arose at this place.
other legends also associate Tara Tarini to their human forms as two
beautiful girls who used to live some times with their devotees ( who
later became their priests ) they
caused miracles to make the
devotees feel their presence and take steps for their worship.One of
such legend reveal that Vasu Praharaja , a learned Brahmin of Kharida Vira
Jagannathpur Sasan near Purushotampur
had the opportunity to
be the foster father of the two sisters Tara-Tarini who in due course
time by the divine order of
Tara-Tarini did the needful
to perform Yagyan and
established the Shrine at the hill top in a temple for daily worship.
From all these historical evidences and fragment of various legends
it can be concluded that Tara-Tarini is one of the ancient most
Shakta Pitha of Orissa.
The following festivals are observed in Tara Tarini Temple as per
the calendar given below.
The Sankranti Mela: Every month on
festival is observed on each Sankranti day of the Hindu month. This day is
considered to be very auspicious for Tantra Sadhakas. The important
features of the festival are as follows:
(a) The temple opens for
Darshan of the deities from 5.30 AM till 10.00
PM without Pahada during the day.
Bije Pratima (Chalnti Pratima) of the deities are put on the Bije
Pithastal located near the temple gate.
Puja and offerings to the deities are offered to the Bije Pratima as
no offerings are allowed inside the Garbha Griha during this occasion. However the devotes can
have the darshan of the deties in the Garbha Griha.
Megha Snana, Chandipatha and Homa are the special activities
conducted in the Grabha Griha and the side pedestal of the Garbha Griha by
the temple Purohit.
(e) Special Khechudi Bhoga is supplied to the devotees on receipt of
Rs. 7/- (seven) per packet. This Bhoga is prepared and sold by the Temple
2. Dola Purnima
( Phalguna Purnima ) during February / March.
Parba: One each Tuesday on the month of chaitra i.e.during
March/April as per Calendar.
This festival is
the most important of the festivals, celebrated at theTara Tarini Pitha. It is observed during each
Tuesday of the month of Chaitra.
Significant features of the festival are as follows;
The temple remains open for the Darshan of the deities from 5 AM
till 11 PM. Pahada of the deities is confined to night-time only.
Devotees in large numbers congregate at the up-hill and downhill
temple complex from Monday night.
2nd & 3rd Tuesday of the Chaitra is
considered to be most auspicious days. Therefore large number of
devotees congregate during these days.
Puja and offering by the devotees are offered to the Chalanti
Pratima of deities placed at the Bije Pitha for the Bije Pratima. However
Darshan of the deities in Garbha Griha is allowed.
Special arrangements for hair offering is made. 250 barbers at the
top hill and 500 barbers at the down hill at the barber shed are engaged
to help their hair offering of their children and other devotees. Hair
offering continues from mid-night on Monday till 6 PM of Tuesday.
Special Khechudi Bhoga is supplied to the devotees on receipt of
Rs. 7/- per packet from Monday mid-night till 6 PM of Tuesday evening
Basantika Parba: During the month chaitra
i.e. March / April.
Chitalagi Amabasya i.e. Srabana Amabasya during July /
Gamha Purnima (Shrabana Purnima ) during July /August.
Saptapuri Amabasya during the month of Bhadraba during
Saradiya Parba on the month of Ashwina Mulastami to
Dushara during September / October .
Dipabali or Shyamakali Puja:
Kartika Amabasya during Sept /Nov.
Post Date:7/5/2007 8:30:44 PM Validity:60 Days