The famous Sodasha Puja at Tara Tarini Shakti Peeth near Berhampur in Odisha started from Mulastami i.e. on 04 October, 2015. This Puja will continue till Mahastami i.e. on 20th October, 2015. In major Shakti Peethas like Kamakshya, Daksinakali, Tara Tarini, Bimala, Chamundeswari and Maha Kali the Durga Puja is observed for 16 days, starting from Bhadrapada Krushna Paksha Ashtami to Ashvina Shukla Paksha Navami of the Hindu Calendar, also known as Shodasa Puja or Shodasa Dinatmaka Upachara.
Noteworthy Tara Tarini is worshiped as the Breast Shrine (Sthana Peetha) and manifestations of Adi Shakti. The Tara Tarini Shakti Peetha is one of the oldest pilgrimage centers of the Mother Goddess and is one of four major ancient Tantra Peethas and Shakti Peethas in India.
Amidst chanting of hymns the Sodasha Puja also known as Devi Utthapana began at Tara Tarini shrine after 3.00 pm on Mulastami. 108 Sevakas of Tara Tarini Shakti Peeth brought 108 pots of water from the holy Rushikulya River flowing at the foothill of the shrine. After rituals of Snana, Majana, Mangala Arati, Maha Arati, Chhandi Path and commencement of Chandi Yagna in the established tradition, the goddess gave darshan to her devotees in the Rajarajeswari Besha and the entire process continued till 12.30 pm next day.
As per the information from the shrine, the Chandi Patha and Chandi Yagna started on the first day of Sodasha Puja will continue till last day of Vijayadashami / Dussehra. Out of the 16 days, the Navratri Puja will start from October 13 and will culminate on October 21. Navaratri is the last nine days of Shodasa Puja and the Shakti is also worshiped by devotees in different pandals for a period of nine days.
According to the Vedic scriptures, Adi Shakti or Goddess Durgā is a symbol of power. She is worshipped in nine different forms and is therefore termed Nava-durgā. Each of the nine manifestation of Durgā are worshipped with full devotion during Navarātri at Tara Tarini Adi Shakti Peeth. These nine forms of manifestation are Śhailaputrī, Brahmachāriṇī, Chandrakaṇṭā, Kuṣhmāṇḍā, Skandamātā, Kātyāyanī, Kālarātrī, Mahāgaurī and Siddhidātrī. It is believed that if worshipped ‘Nava Durgā’ with religious fervor during Navaratri, it bestows all spiritual fulfillment to a devotee.
The Sodasha Puja, Navratri and Vijayadashami are very important and major festivals in the religious calendar of this Shakti Peeth. During this entire 16 days period, the sanctum of Maa Tara Tarini remains open round the clock for Darshan of the devotees. Lakhs of devotees gathering to obtain darshan of Maa during Sodasha Puja.
Ram Prasad Tripathy
PRO, Tara Tarini Development Board,