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
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
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.