Thousands of people from far-off places in the state and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh throng the Tara Tarini temple with their babies on the occasion of Chaitra Mela, which started on March 30, 2016.
The temple is one of the famous Shakti shrines in the state, located on the banks of the Rushikulya, about 35 km from Berhampur city in the Ganjam district.
"Shaving the heads of babies and offering their hair is a tradition in Ganjam and its adjoining districts. A company from Andhra Pradesh collects the hair and has offered around Rs 2.25 lakh this time. Last year, the same company had offered Rs 2.6 lakh," temple sources said.
Braving the scorching sun, thousands climb 999 steps to reach the 17th century temple, located about 709 ft above the sea level to tonsure their babies and offer the hair to the goddess every Tuesday of the month.
"About 700 police personnel, including eight platoons of police forces, three additional SPs (Ganjam), one DSP, ten inspector rank officers were camping on the temple premises to oversee traffic management and law and order," said SP (Ganjam) Ashish Singh. He added that no untoward incident has been reported in the temple yet.
-March 30, 2016