Tara Tarini hill shrine steps to be widened
The ropeway to the hilltop is ready to be operational
The Hindu, Apr 11, 2007, BERHAMPUR: The steps leading to the Maa Tara Tarini Hill Shrine in Ganjam district would be widened. Centuries old 999 holy steep steps connect the foothill to the top at this hill shrine.
The Tara Tarini Development Board (TTDB) has decided to take up the work to widen these old 999 holy steps to meet the rush of devotees during festivals. Rest sheds would also be constructed by the side of the steps at regular intervals for benefit of tired climbers, informed secretary of TTDB, Pramod Panda.
During 'Tuesdays' of the holy month of Chaitra around six lakh devotees visited this hill shrine. Although the TTDB had provided special vehicles to carry devotees to the top of the hill, around 90 per cent of the devotees preferred to take the hard climb by the steps. The ropeway connecting the hilltop to the foothill is ready to be operational for the visitors. On Sunday the former Ganjam collector, Sanjay Singh and chief engineer of the Berhampur Development Authority (BDA), G.C.Mangual took a test ride on this ropeway.
But the TTDB feels most of the devotees would continue to take up the hard climb even after the ropeway becomes operational as for them it is a penance in honour of the deity. Meanwhile the State Endowment Department has permitted the dismantling of the `Garbhagruha' of old temple in a phased manner to enable the completion of new temple being constructed at the shrine.
The State Tourism Department has also sanctioned Rs. 45 lakhs to be spent in three years for development of the Shrine.