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Timings : 6:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee

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Tarapith Temple, Tarapith Overview

Tarapith is a small temple located on the banks of the Dwarka River that flows in Birbhum, at a distance of 264 km from Kolkata. The temple is ancient and is considered to be extremely auspicious by the Hindu community. The regal temple, one of the 51 Shakti Peeths in India, is one of the most important places where tantric rituals are followed even today. It remains busy all through the year and is often visited by the poor who come here to have a free meal.

As per legends, one eyeball of Sati fell here at Tarapith, when Lord Shiva roamed the universe mourning her loss. In view of this believed event, the name of the village was changed from Chandipur to Tarapith since the Bengali word for eyeball is Tara. The temple is thus dedicated to Ma Tara. The Tarapith temple represents the destructive aspect of Lord Shiva in the form of Kali. As per the Hindu traditions, Ma Tara is believed to be the second out of the ten goddesses of great wisdom and is also known as Kalika, Bhadra-Kali, and Mahakali. She is the tantric demonstration of Goddess Durga. The temple is an architectural wonder full of mysteries and exciting facts which make it a must-visit.

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History of Tarapith Temple

The history of the temple can be traced back to the time when Vashishta wanted to master the Tantrik Arts, but despite his constant efforts, he failed. This led him to visit Lord Buddha who asked him to practice in Tarapith which was a perfect location to worship Ma Tara. Vashishta thereby came to Tarapith and started to worship Ma Tara with the left-handed Tantrik ritual making use of Panchamakara, i.e. the five forbidden things. Pleased with his prayers, Ma Tara appeared in front of him in the form of a heavenly mother suckling Lord Shiva to her breast and then turned to stone. Since that day, this mother image of the deity is worshipped at Tarapith.

Tarapith Temple is also known for the mad saint named Bama Khepa who is also worshipped at the temple. He used to live in the cremation grounds and perfected Yoga along with the Tantric art under the guidance of Kailashpathi Baba who was another very famous saint. Bama Khepa dedicated his life to the worship of Ma Tara. His ashram lies nearby the temple.

Architecture of Tarapith Temple

The main temple is a marble block structure which has four sides covered with a curved roof known as a dochala. There is a smaller tower with four sides coming out from beneath this structure having its own dochala. Tarapith Temple has a thick base with thick walls composed of red bricks. The deity's image is kept in the attic in the chamber. There is a stone image of Maa Tara in the form of a mother suckling Shiva.

Another three feet metal image of Maa Tara is presented in her fiery form with four arms wearing skulls all around her neck in the form of a garland and her tongue sticking out. The image has a silver crown over its head with flowing hair. The image is wrapped in a sari and decorated with garlands having a silver umbrella over its head. The forehead of the deity is decorated with red kumkum. This kumkum is applied on the foreheads of the devotees by the priests as a symbol of Maa Tara's blessings. The devotees offer bananas, silk saris and coconuts to the deity.

Festivals and Poojas at Tarapith Temple

Festivals celebrated in the Tarapith Temple include Sankranti Mela which takes place on every Sankranti day of the Hindu month, Dola Purnima which is organized during February/March, Basantika Parba which is celebrated during the month Chaitra (March/April), Gamha Purnima which takes place during July/August, Chaitra Parba which is held on every Tuesday of the month of Chaitra. Another very important and the most famous festival organized at the temple is the Tarapith Amavasya Annual Festival which is held in August every year.

Puja is held in the temple from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM on all days of the week. Devi Tara wakes up every morning at 4:00 AM by the melody of the Shahnai and other musical instruments after which the worship starts. In the process, the door of the Garbha Griba is opened by a group of devotees who then wash her feet, clean her room and re-make the bed. Before washing the idol with the pure water of Jivitkund, honey and ghee are applied to it. The idol is then adorned with a sari, a garland of skulls and a mask. After this, the mangalarti starts.

Pooja takes place in the afternoon as well when rice offering is made to the idol as per the tantric sadhana rules. This anna bhog has atap rice, the meat of the sacrificed goat, rice pudding, fried fishes and five kinds of dishes. The temple remains closed for sometime after the annabhog for the deity to relax. In the evening, Sandhya Aarti takes place after which the deity's bed is made.

Goats are made to bathe in the holy tank of the temple before sacrificing them. The neck of the goat is then cut off in a single stroke by using a special sword. The goat's blood is collected in a small vessel and offered to the deity.

Best Time To Visit Tarapith Temple

The ideal time to pay a visit to the temple is during the months of September to March as the weather is pleasant due to the heat going away. November to December is the time preferred by most of the tourists as the weather is cold and Tarapith Temple is lovely at that time. Durga Puja is another auspicious occasion when tourists visit the temple in order to experience the celebrations in the city.

Tips For Visiting Tarapith Temple

1. Pets are not allowed inside the temple.
2. No photography is allowed inside the temple. Cleanliness should be maintained once inside the temple.

How To Reach Tarapith Temple

The temple is located in a small village. The shortest route to reach the temple is driving down State Highway 13 from Birbhum and reach there in an hour.

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Tarapith Temple Reviews

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Subir Talks

on Tarapith Temple 3 years ago
This is one of the finest place that I have visited. One can experience the feeling of vibration, the moment you enter the temple Arena. People go with true and pure devotion will definitely get bles (Read More)sings of Maa Tara for their satvic wish fulfilment. I am an astrologer from Mumbai, I had an experience that I can express with words. "Link Hidden"
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