BERHAMPUR: Traditional Chaitra festival began at Tara Tarini hill shrine near Berhampur city, Ganjam district on Tuesday. Four Tuesdays of Hindu month of Chaitra are celebrated as a festival called ‘Tara Tarini Chaitra Jatra' at this hill shrine. Over a lakh devotees thronged to this hill shrine on the first Tuesday of Chaitra.
A new ghat road to the hill top was also opened for devotees. Apart from the road communication there is also a ropeway to the hilltop. But most of the devotees who visited the hill shrine on Tuesday preferred to trek to the hill top rather than opting for easier modes of travel. As per Pramod Panda, secretary of the Tara Tarini Development Board (TTDB), special buses have been arranged to transport devotees to the hill top, yet devotees including the aged, women and children preferred to climb 999 holy steep steps to reach the hill shrine. Around 95 per cent of the devotees preferred to climb to the hilltop. Flow of devotees continued from 4 a.m. when the gates of the temple were opened. It continued till evening. The TTDB authorities arranged medical facilities. A village fair also came up at the foot hill. Devotional cultural programmes continued at the hilltop and downhill.
This year, the almost complete new temple of this hill shrine attracted the visitors. According to TTDB authorities, the date for the ritualistic inauguration ceremony of the new temple would be decided a meeting to be held Thursday. Twelve senior Vedic pundits from all the nine traditional taluks of Ganjam district will attend the meeting.
Source: The Hindu