Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Taratarini Mela among India's biggest fairs

By R.P.Tripathy

The 'Taratarini Mela' one of India's biggest fairs takes place on each Tuesdays of the month of 'Chaitra' i.e. from around mid-March to mid-April at Taratarini Hill Shrine, 25-km from Berhampur City, the Southern headquarters of Orissa State (India). A grand congregation takes place on each Tuesday of the month and more than a million people visit the sacred Shrine of the Mother Goddess during this period. The interesting part of the fair is, devotees offer the first bunch of Hair of the newborns to the Goddess with a hope that the Goddess will usher prosperity, long life and protect the newborns from all evils. Though, the shrine draws huge crowd throughout the year but the month of Chaitra is considered the most auspicious. Parents in this part of India make sure that their children offer their only belonging "hair" to the Goddess and get her blessings and benediction before they embark on the journey of life. The fair is also marked by the presence of local artisans, delicacies and picnickers all around the Hill Shrine leading up to the banks of sacred river Rushikulya.

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