Friday, April 5, 2019

Tara Tarini Temple is One Among The 4 Adi Shakti Peethas

Out of the 51 shakti peethas, the Tara Tarini Temple is one among the 4 Adi Shakti Peethas. The temple is located around 25km from Berhampur of Odisha, the temple is one of the major religious centres of the state.
The Legend Behind Tara Tarini Temple Legend has it that Lord Shiva started performing Rudra Tandava, the dance of destruction, holding the half burnt corpse of his beloved wife, Goddess Sati after her self immolation. To stop this fierce dance, Lord Vishnu threw his Sudarshana chakra on the body of Sati, which then got dismembered and fell at different places.

These sites where her limbs have fallen are worshipped as Shakti Peethas. Tara Tarini Temple is where her breasts fell, and the shire here is also known as the Breast shrine. The twin goddesses Tara and Tarini are worshipped here. This shakti peeth is also known as Kalyani Dham. A puranic reference to this temple is connected to a learned Brahmin Vasu Praharaja, who was a devotee of the Goddess. The two sisters Tara and Tarini who stayed with him for a few years, go missing one day. It is believed that the two sisters went up the Taratarini hill and disappeared from there. Praharaja couldn't find them anywhere and was left in despair. That night he dreamed the sisters, who informed him that they are incarnations of Adi Shakti Tara and Tarini, and they aslo asked him to renovate the temple and worship the dieties.

This ancient temple was built in the 17th century, and you have to take 999 steps to reach the temple, which is atop Taratarini hill or Purnagiri hill. The holy river Rushikalyani, which is believed to be the elder sister of river Ganga, flows at the foothills of the temple. The temple is built using Rekha style of architecture, and Goddess Taratarini was the principle deity of the rulers of Kalinga kingdom.

The Temple Deities The deities Tara and Tarini have human faces. These idols are made of stone and are adorned with gold and silver jewels and precious stones. Goddess Taratarini is the presiging deity of most of the households of Southern Odisha.

Festivals at Tara Tarini Temple Chaitra Parba, also known as Chaitra mela or Chaitra Yatra, is the major festival celebrated here. It is held on each Tuesday in the month of Chaitra, which falls in April-May as per the English calendar.


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