Presenting an interesting pilgrimage site in Ganjam district, Taratarini Temple is one of the oldest temples of Mother Goddess. Situated on the Kumari hills at the bank of Rushikulya River, Taratarini Temple is said to be the place where the breast of Sati Devi fell, and hence, it is worshipped as Breast Shrine. Besides, the temple is also renowned as one of the four ancient Shakti Peethas and Tantra Peetha in India. It is believed that Tara Tarini was the principal deities of the temple. Inside the temple, the stone idols of goddesses Tara and Tarini are adorned with gold and silver ornaments. A heavy footfall of tourists can be seen throughout the year, especially on all Tuesdays of every month of Chaitra (March-April). During this month, the temple hosts a festival which is known as Chaitra Parba/Chaitra Yatra/Chaitra Mela. The age-old practice of ‘Mundan’ also takes place at the shrine where the hair of newborn babies get shaved from their head with a belief that goddess Tara Tarini will protect the newborns from evils. Since the temple is located on a hill, it proffers an exotic view of its surrounding, mainly the hills and valleys.
History and Architecture of the Temple
The temple of Taratarini has an interesting legend. It is the place where the breasts of Goddess Sati (Lord Shiva’s wife) fell when Lord Vishnu dissevered her body into 51 pieces in order to stop Lord Shiva’s Tandav Nritya (the dance of destruction). The name Tara, the primeval deity of the Mahayana Buddhist Pantheon, signifies the Buddhist influence on the temple. Some scholars say that Buddhists learned the concept of Tara puja from the shrine, who in the earlier days did not worship any idol of goddess.
Built on a hillock, the Taratarini Temple boasts a resplendent artwork of Kalinga architecture and is ornamented with vibrant sculptures. It is also embellished with sculptured panels. Moreover, the idols of both the deities are made up of ancient rock stone, ornamented with gold and silver, and are about 10 ft high.
5:00 AM to 12:30 PM and 2:15 PM to 9:45 PM
Best Time to Visit
The months of October to February (winter season) are considered as the best time to explore Taratarini Temple in Ganjam district.
Nearby Tourist Attractions
- Gopalpur Beach
- Tampara Lake
- Birds Island
- Kalijai Island