Famous Tara Tarini temple in Ganjam district of Odisha is expected to earn around Rs 3.88 lakh by selling hair offered to its deities this year. "About a dozen organisations took part in the auction last week and a group from Andhra Pradesh bid the highest", said an officer of the temple administration. The highest bidding during auction of hair last year was Rs 3.42 lakh, he said.
Hundreds of people climb the 999 steps to this centuries old shrine atop Dahibandi near Purushottampur; about 35 km from here, to get the heads of their children tonsured every Tuesday in the month of Chaitra. "There has been a rise in the number of bidders," said secretary of the Tara Tarini Shrine Development Board (TTSDB), Pramod Kumar Panda.
The hair collected from the temple is processed and exported to the US, the UK, France, Germany and Hongkong. The hair is either made into wigs or used for extensions. The short strands serve as raw material for cosmetic products, sources said.
Around 90 per cent of the total collection of hair comes in Chaitra. "The organisation engages several people to collect hair every Tuesday during this month. On other days, a single person is given charge of collecting the hair", said revenue inspector of Tara Tarini, L N Panda. They will be deployed on the temple premises from April 1, he added.
The temple is also going environment-friendly by banning plastic on its premises. In a recent meeting, the TTDB took the decision to make its premises free of polythene and stressed the strict implementation of the decision.
The meeting, held under the chairmanship of revenue divisional commissioner (southern range) Bikash Mohapatra, also discussed plans for the smooth conduct of the Chaitra festival at the temple beginning April 2. Lakhs of devotees are expected to visit the temple every Tuesday during Chaitra.
Some of the Comments on the Times of India
It is a Good scheme to improve the Cash Flow of the temple Administration. I think the temple Admin is following the Tirupati Model.
Syed Yousuf (Kuwait)
Hinduism does not promote idol worship/worshipping demi gods infact it rejects it. Shvetashvatara Upanishad Chapter 4 Verse 19 says "Na tasyapati na asti" (For God there is no pratima, no image, no picture, and no statue) and Yajur Veda Chapter 40 Verse 9 says "Andhatm pravishanti ya aashambhuti upaste" (Those are entering in darkness who worships the natural things (like-fire, water, air etc.) & those are entering in more darkness who worships the shumbuti (created things like statue,table, chair etc.) But unfortunately the common hindu majority of whom neither read these scriptures nor follow them blindly worship what not idols, snake, monkey, Shiv Ling etc., etc.,. I sincrely request all Hindus to read their scriptures with understanding and am sure you will find the Truth.
kamal (Delhi) replies to Syed Yousuf
The Hinduism also says that the God or the Supreme Being is present in every particle and object of this universe. So whats the problem in worshiping an image.............if the Supreme Being is present in that image. U r a new comer in the world of Hinduism...........so, go deep, u will understand what Hinduism really is .........
kamal (New Delhi)
The Tara Tarini Hill Shrine in Ganjam, Odisha is also going environment-friendly by banning plastic on its premises this year. The Tara Tarini Development Board (TTDB) took the decision to make its premises free of polythene. Its a great idea. The authorities of this shrine always took environmental friendly decisions. In the recent past, in collaboration with TATA the TTDB has decided to plant thousands of trees for the betterment of the environment. A major SOLAR LIGHT project is also being implemented in this shrine in collaboration with the Central Government. Really you are doing a good work. Others must imitate these steps taken by the Shrine. I congratulate the authorities of Maa Tara Tarini holy shrine for these environment friendly moves.
DP Mohanty (Bangalore)
Hairs after auction are exported to western countries....
its a good idea. Shows the temple authorities are proactive.. and trying to improve their lot. funds are always needed in temple. Rather than always asking for cash donation, they should try various such methods.
Its very good business