|Tara Tarini temple, Berhampur, Ganjam, Odisha|
Traditional ritualistic inaugural ceremony of the grand netemple dedicated to Adi Shakti Maa Tara Tarini will be held from March 03-09, 2011. This was decided at a general body meeting of the Tara Tarini Development Board (TTDB) held at Tara Tarini Hill shrine. The Law and Rural Development Minister, Government of Odisha Shri Bikram Keshari Arukh presided over the meeting. Ganjam District Collector andw Vice President of TTDB, Shri V. Kartikeyan Pandian, Secretary TTDB Shri Pramod Panda and other office bearers of TTDB, members of the Technical committee TTDB and senior officials of Government of Odisha were present on the occasion.
It is believed that Taratarini Sthana Pitha (Breast Shrine) is one of the ancient most and among the four major Shakti centers in India. It bears a history of not less then 5000 years. After the formation of the Tara Tarini Development Board the oldest Shakti Shrine got the much needed attention and owing to that in the last 7 years the number of pilgrims visiting to the shrine has gone up significantly. Last year more than 20 lakh devotees and tourists visited the hill shrine during the famous Chaitra Yatra in the month of Chaitra. The new temple on the hilltop replacing the old temple of 18th Century, built by one of the historic and iconic figures in the religious history of Odisha Shri Basu Praharaj, is being built as part of the measures initiated to transform the hill shrine into a major religious- tourist destination of the Country. It is important to mention that during its more than 5000 years old history the temple has come up again and again.The new temple is unique as it is a modern temple completely built adhering to the tenets of ancient Odishan temple architecture. Construction of the temple started in 2003.
It is a ‘Rekha' style temple and bears intricate carvings. Sculptor Padmavibhusan Raghunath Mohapatra was the master architect of this modern temple built up in ancient form. Its major building material was sandstone which was abundantly used in the ancient temples of Orissa. Like the traditional temples, large black granite slabs were used as lintels for the new temple. These black granite slabs were procured from Buguda region of Ganjam district. The finishing work of the construction is on and within next one-and-half months total construction work of the main temple will be completed.
The new Rekha style temple at the hill shrine has an elevation of about 68 ft. above the hilltop. The sandstone slabs used for the construction of the temple were procured from Ganjam and Nayagarh districts. To cater to the needs of lakhs of visitors and to improve the communication facility on the lines of Tirupati and Vaishno Devi Hill Shrines the work on the new ghat road to the hill top is also under way.
The new road will be less steep and wider than the existing old road. The road is being laid at a cost of Rs. 5 crores by the Rural Development Department of government of Odisha. Another ring road is also being laid around the Tara Tarini hill Shrine. These new on going projects are also scheduled to be completed by the end of February, 2011 much before the commencement of the famous Chaitra Festival.