The famous annual Chaitra festival at the Tara Tarini hill shrine near Berhampur city in Orissa started from Tuesday. It is believed that Taratarini Sthana Peeth (Breast Shrine of Mata Sati) is one of the ancient and among the four major Shakti centers in India. Thousands of devotees had started gathering at the hill shrine from Monday afternoon itself. Transport Secretary Government of Orissa Shri Satyabrata Sahu, RDC Southern Division and Chairman of TTDB Shri Chandrasekhar Kumar, Ganjam District Collector Shri VK Pandian and many other senior state and central government officials, apart from the office bearers of TTDB and Temple Management were present on the occasion.
The Tara Tarini Development Board (TTDB) made elaborate arrangements for the devotees. Apart from the aerial rope way the TTDB had also arranged special buses to carry visitors to the hill top. But most of the devotees, of all age groups, preferred to climb the 999 holy steps to the hilltop as they consider it to be a penance. Recently the steps have been repaired before the annual festival. The ghat road to the hilltop and the foot hill roads have also been widened in view of the growing number of visitors to the Shrine. On Tuesday only the special buses of the TTDB were allowed to ply on the ghat road for security reasons.
The Army Air Defence College, Gopalpur, Berhampur Municipal Corporation, Ganjam District administration and District police made elaborate arrangements for the visitors. The volunteers of the TTDB, different NGOs and voluntary organizations, the temple management and local residents actively helped the devotees who came from various parts of the state and other neighbouring states.