The Third Tuesday of the month of Chaitra, also considered as the holiest day in the religious calendar of the Tara Tarini Hill Shrine witnessed a sea of devotees. The massive congregation at this Shrine, also famous as the breast shrine and considered as one amongst the four major ancient Shakti Peethas in India, filled the air with religious fervor and devotion. The ongoing Navratri puja coinciding with the Chaitra festivities further added to the enthusiasm among the people. Stream of visitors thronged the famous Shakti Shrine from the wee hours till late in the evening and the police administration toiled hard to control the crowd and maintain law and order.
The estimated number of visitors this year has far exceeded the gathering witnessed in previous years with more than 5 lakh people reaching the temple on the hill-top while an equal number of people taking part in the fair on the foothill and on the banks of river Rushikulya.
Thousands of kids tonsured their head as per the age-old belief associated with this Shrine.
Following the tradition associated with Chaitra festivals, people from far and wide were seen cooking food with their family members as thanksgiving to the goddesses on fulfillment of their desires. This is undoubtedly tradition unique of its kind in the country where such large number of people indulge in cooking and which has become an integral part of the Chaitra festivities in Tara Tarini.
The rural fair and temporary shops all across the roads leading to the Temple is another attraction which added to the rush and by noon time the heavy police deployment proved inadequate in front of a congregation of this magnitude. However, the day passed off peacefully without any untoward incident.
The development activities taken up by the Tara Tarini Development Board in recent years helped in ensuring better amenities and services for the devotees this year. Infact, some development projects were also inaugurated on this occasion including the long awaited ring road, street lighting and bathing Ghats on the banks of River Rushikulya which were thrown open for the public.
Keeping in mind the expected gathering, the temple administration made elaborate arrangements for transport, food and water with the help of large number of volunteers. The local administration took all possible measures through heavy deployment of police forces, ambulances and fire brigade. Many senior officials of the state government, district administration and peoples’ representatives visited the Shrine on this occasion to seek blessings of Maa.