The Taratarini hill shrine, 32km from Berhampur city are bustling with devotees who have gathered here on the occasion of third Chaitra Mangalbar (Tuesday). More than three lakh devotees visited the hill shrine named after twin goddesses — Tara and Tarini from various states and abroad.
The four Tuesdays of the month of Chaitra (March/April) are believed to be holy for Shakti Puja (power worshipping) in this shrine of Mata Sati (consort of Lord Shiva). “The hill shrine, one among the four major ancient Shakti pithas (centres) in
, is a major religious centre. It is gradually emerging as a popular tourist destination”. Devotees from Andhra Pradesh, Bengal, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, India and other states pay a visit to the shrine on these four Tuesdays in the month of Chaitra. Jharkhand, Assam
Ganjam district administration created the TTDB under chairmanship of the revenue divisional commissioner (RDC), southern Orissa, in 2002-03. Since then, the TTDB has been involved in development of the shrine and its nearby areas by providing drinking water facility on the hilltop and running a ropeway service. The board has provided eight water tankers for the visitors with 24-hour water supply. The police, deployed there, are distributing pana (a drink) at the temple entrance. Several special buses are ferrying the devotees to the hilltop for Rs 50 per head. The ropeway charge has been fixed at Rs 30 for each devotee. However, most of the devotees preferred to visit the shrine by trekking the 999 holy steps.
The board undertook construction of a new temple. The construction of a road to the hilltop is also in progress. About 50 per cent work for another ring road to the shrine is over. “We have been worshipping the goddesses since ages. We are here to pay our respect to the deities. Many perform special prayers or give special offerings to the goddesses,” said devotees. “Commuting has become easier on these hills with the introduction of ropeway. Moreover, facilities of rest rooms and drinking water have also been introduced,” they said.
Source: The Telegraph