Taratarini Temple, Odisha

Taratarini is a famous religious place in Southern Orissa where the twin sister Goddess i.e. Tara & Tarini adorn the sanctum situated on the top of a hillock girdled by the waddling holy river Rushikulya. Taratarani attracts thousands of devotes, picnickers and visitors through out the year.

Special auspicious dates connected with the rites and titular of the twin goddess i.e. the four Tuesdays in the month of Chaitra and that of the all Sankranties in Hindu Calendar. Walking over 999 steps from the foot of the hill, to the hill top under shadows of green plantation is very much amusing and pleasure making.

The Tara Tarini temple of the twin goddesses Tara and Tarini is located on Taratirini hill near Purusottampur at a distance of 40 km from Bramhapur. River Rushikulya flows at lower part of the Taratarini hill. People in Southern Orissa consider the Goddesses Tara-Tarini as the presiding deity. Two stones anthropomorphized by the addition of gold and silver ornaments and shaped as human faces represent the Goddesses Tara and Tarini as the deities of this temple. Between them are placed two beautiful brass heads known as their Chalanti Pratima.

By the time Ashoka conquered Kalinga he found it a famous centre of Buddhism. Particularly the region of Ganjam near the banks of river Rushikulya was an active Buddhist site as shown from the Special Rock Edicts of Ashoka found at Jaugada at a distance of 4 km from Tara-Tarini Hill. The name Tara (Buddhism), an important deity of Mahayana Buddhist pantheon, is suggestive of Buddhist influence. An image of Buddha in meditation, present inside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple lends credence to the claim of this site as an ancient centre of the Buddhist Shakta cult. It has been suggested that from a tribal cult Tara-Tarini may have been transformed into Shakti cult through the process of Sanskritisation.With all the history behind it, the temple is considered one of the oldest and is also one of the massively popular temples of Orissa.
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