Tara Tarini – Shakti peeth of Orissa

According to Hindu religion, If one is blessed /lucky enough to visit Char Dham,then the ladder to heaven becomes shorter and the route to Moksha becomes easy  !The Char Dham’s are Rameshwaram ,Jagganath,Badrinath and Dwarka .I got to read a very interesting article , where the author says ” According to Sankaracharya (8th century).Lord vishnu takes a holy dip in Rameshwaram,then moves to Jagannath for Lunch ,enjoys 56(chappan) bhog served at the temple. After satiating his palate ,it is meditation time for the lord at Badrinath and the final retreat is Dwarka ,where Vishnuji retires and rests…This cyclic explanation of Char Dham highlights the nature of the primal householder LORD VISHNU !

As my sasural ( Place where In Laws live) is in Odisha ( Adobe of LORD). I am lucky to have visited lord quite a few times now.  Jagat(world) + Nath(lord or Master), Jagannath literally means master of the world. This highly revered temple, One of the four Dhams is very popular Dharmic and tourist spot. Fame and Bane go hand in hand it seems…The Dinning Venue of Jagannath has a slang to its name…’Juggernaut’. Thanks to some (meherban) foreigner , google the word and you will be shocked !

My concern is ..Is Orissa all about Jagannath ? As usual the other half of the society is ignored..This International women’s day I got a galore of Messages on my cell ! Why only a single day out of the 365 days ? Today is not any special day for women of this world…I still want to celebrate it ,in my own way by highlighting two female forces of Orissa… Two Shakipeeths have been identified in Orissa..Maa Bimla Devi and Maa Taratarini…I have been to Jagganath thrice or may be more, I had no Idea ,that Maa Bimla( One of the four Adi Shakti peeth’s ) is located inside the Jagannath temple !

The Astashakti and Kalika Purana says (in Sanskrit):

“Bimala Pada khandancha,
Sthana khandancha Tarini (Tara Tarini),
Kamakshya Yoni khandancha,
Mukha khandancha Kalika (Dakshina Kalika)
Anga pratyanga sanghena
Vishnu Chakra Kshyta nacha”

This simply means that Bimala temple is the place ,where the foot ( Pada)of Ma sati fell , Breast ( sthana) fell at Taratarini ,Vagina or (Yoni ) fell and Mouth( Mukha) fell at Dakshia kali temple . In this blog I bring to you ma Tara Tarini…

Around 180 kms from Bhubnehwar, near behrampur city,nestling in the midst of beautiful kumari hills in Ganjam district. Maa Tararaini resides on top of a hillock .The ride to the place is a therapy believe me..Greenery all around, We crossed the mighty chilka..Kumari hills as the names suggest is literally virgin beauty…soaked in green , we reached our destination…Sadly , not much history is known by the locals around…Tara tarini temple is one of the Adi Shaktipeetha suggesting its long long past….

Tara Tarini Hills Breast Shrine of Mata Sati


I found ,this image on  a blog, It is the satellite image of kumari hills,where the temple is located. Tara Tarini is Sthna (breast) peetha, two distinct cups can be seen in the pics, Looking at this pic. I feel may be the legend of Shakti and Tandav by shiva and falling of her body parts on earth is true !


First darshan of the temple revealed that the temple was not very old ! I got to know from locals that the original temple ,has been renovated and a new bigger /grander temple has been erected on the same site!


Rushikuliya River -(Jyesht Bhagini ) elder sister of river ganga according to puranas garlands around the temple hill.


Rushikulya river is also the breeding site of Olive Ridley turtles in India.

olive ridley turtle

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive_ridley_sea_turtle#/media/File:Turtle_golfina_escobilla_oaxaca_mexico_claudio_giovenzana_2010.jpg


The temple complex is a photographers paradise..According to one reference, Vasu Praharaja, a learned Brahmin of Kharida Vira, Jagannathpur Sasan near Purushotampur was a great devotee of Mother Goddess. He was childless. The two sisters, Tara and Tarini stayed at Vasu Praharaja’s house for some years. But one day, both the sisters disappeared from Vasu Praharaja’s house. It is believed that the sisters went upto Tarini Parvat and disappeared there. Vasu Praharaja went about searching for the girls but in vain. He was distraught with grief. That night he saw a dream in which Tara and Tarini informed him that they were not his daughters but were the incarnations of Adi Shakti- Tara and Tarini. The goddess instructed Vasu Praharaja to renovate the temple on the hill top and consecrate the deities.

Daily seva puja is being performed in the temple as per the following established programmes.

Time                            Nature of puja

5.05 A.M                   Majana

6.15 A.M                   Mangala Alati & Pahili Bhog

12.15 P.M                   Raja Bhog

12.35 P.M                   Pahada

2.15 P.M                   Reopening

5.15 P.M                   Evening Majana

6.15 P.M                   Sandhya Alati

9.45 P.M                   Bhog & Pahada

Official website: http://taratarini.nic.in/

Tara Tarini shakti peethas Maa Tara Tarini @ the Garbha griha of temple.

Tara tarini Shakthi peeth is an ancient temple. The temple built in 17th century has 999 steps leading to the temple. The deities at the temple are made of stone and adorned with gold and silver ornaments. The deities are shaped as human faces. In between these deities are placed the utsav murthis (chalanti Pratima) used during rath yatra made of brass. Goddess Taratarini is the presiding deity of most of the households in Southern Orissa. Goddess Taratarini was the presiding deity of the rulers of Kalinga kingdom. The temple has been built in the Rekha style of architecture. source: http://www.indianscriptures.com/sacred-places/shakti-peethas/maa-tara-tarini

If you notice, the char Dham belong to vishuji .  Masculine energy , virility, strength ,power is worshiped. The feminine force ‘Shakti’ is more highlighted in Tantric Hinduism. The word ‘tantric’or ‘tantrisim’ is a tabbo for some! For me,  in this patriarchal world ,where women have to fight, even to retain their name after marriage….I appreciate /applaud and salute tantric ideology ! Tantrsim worship’s fertility, wild feminine force,creativity,freedom  , nature (prakriti) and TARA TARINI is one of the Tantra peetha’s .

DSC03787.JPG  Varahi Devi and the legend associated with Tara Tarini and Shiva…..

I found these two statues outside the garbha griha ,in the temple complex, A local informed that,this statue was part of original temple. The first life size statue( on your left), around 6 feet high belongs to Varahi. She is one of the seven MATRIKAS. She has a head of wild boar and is feminie energy/part from vishnu’s Varha avtaar.

The second image, what I deciphered believe belongs to goddess Tara, As I came across a legend,where Goddess Tara took the form of mother and suckled Shiva to reduce the effect of Halahal(poison) that shiva had in his throat extracted from churning of ocean( Samudra Manthan).

Varaha and Varahi Avtaar of Vishnu..

She is usually worshiped at night, and according to secretive Tantric practices. The Buddhist goddesses Vajravārāhī and Marichi are believed to have their origins in the Hindu goddess Varahi.

DSC03791.JPG Narsimhi : has a face of lion. She is the female form of narsimha,avataar of vishu.

Matrikas as a mentioned earlier are a group of seven goddesses, who assist Shakti in her fights with demons. Matrikas are highlighted in tantrisim and shakti sects. The groups of seven mothers or matrikas are  Brahmani, Vaishnavi, Maheshvari, Indrani, Kaumari, Varahi, Chamunda and Narasimhi.Sadly I could locate only two out of the seven matrikas…

Before entering the temple, One has to buy a ticket( 5 rs), very typical, as I have visited many temples in my life, but never paid… We reached there around 2:30, we did our pooja’s and prayers and left the place content…

As we were moving back home…the whole Tara Tarini episode was replaying in my mind…The concept of Shaktipeeth , the power of Matrikas..all have a lot to teach if think deep…Women are self sufficient… Women are no minority….Women do not need any concession for being what they are……No one special day is required to celebrate feminine power….Lets stop the gender war and learn from SHIVSHAKTI…THE ART OF COEXISTENCE….

lets create a world where there is no superior /subordinate…..BOTH MAN AND WOMAN ARE EQUALS…….



Hotel Nirupama..It is just 3 kms from the temple, a great place to rest /night stay. food is tasty ! The manager informed us that he could take us for a night safari in the protected forest area, where the Olive Ridley turtles come and lay their eggs ! It did not happen for us as we were on a tight schedule…

Food : Non Veg

NOTE: To reach the top of the hill, choose any of the following…

  1. Four wheeler are allowed to the top.
  2. IF you wish , you can choose a rope way to the top.
  3. 999 steps lead to the temple from the base…

If you want a quick visit, avoid Tuesdays as lakhs of devotees flock on this day…











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