Devotees throng Tara Tarini temple
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Last Updated: Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 15:00
Berhampur: Thousands of people from far off places of Orissa and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh along with their babies thronged Tara Tarini temple, a famous shakti shrine located on the bank of river Rushikulya, 35 km from here on the first day of Chaitra Mela yesterday.

Braving the scorching sun, the devotees climb 999 steps to reach the 17th century temple, located about 709 feet above the sea level atop Dahihandi mountain to tonsure their babies and offer the hairs to the goddess every Tuesday of this month.

The demand of baby hair has also gone up as the rate of auction increased every year to feed chemical factories. While last year, the temple authorities had auctioned the hair at Rs 1.31 lakh, this year it increased to Rs 1.45 lakh, sources said.

A person from Andhra Pradesh was authorised this year to take the hair that will accumulate during the period. Last year, besides the hair auction amount, the temple had earned over Rs 6 lakh from shaving charge and darshan during the days.

The authorities charge Rs 10 and Rs 20 for Mandan (close shaving) at the foothill and atop respectively, while only Re 1 is charged for darshan of the deities. The same charge is also prevailing this year, sources said.

We have made elaborate arrangements for the convenience of the visitors, said sub collector (Chhatrapur) and the executive officer of the temple Trilochan Majhi.

Even though a road has been constructed to reach the hilltop and bus services, ropeway are available, the devotees were seen climbing steps to reach the temple. The renovation of the temple, which is going on in full swing is likely to complete this year, said Pramod Kumar Panda, secretary, Tara Tarini Development Board.

SP (Ganjam) Nitinjit Singh said over 100 officers including 2 DSPs, a deputy commandant and adequate force were deployed to maintain law and order. Deployment of forces would be increased in subsequent weeks considering the increase of congregation, he said.


First Published: Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 15:00

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