Berhampur, March 26 (LocalWire): Thousands of people from far flung places of the state and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh thronged the Tara Tarini temple situated on a hilltop next to the river Rushikulya, about 35 kms from here on occasion of Chaitra mela today.
Braving the scorching heat, most pilgrims climbed the 999 steps to reach the 17th century Shakti shrine, located about 709-feet above sea level to tonsure the heads of their babies and offer the hair to the Goddess. This ritual takes place every Tuesday of the Hindu calendar month Chaitra.
While most people preferred to climb, some took the ropeway operated by a private operator and others rode the special buses arranged by the district administration for the convenience of the tourists.
‘The district and temple administrations have made elaborate arrangements for the convenience of the pilgrims,’ said Pramod Kumar Panda, secretary, Tara Tarini Development Board (TTDB).
‘Temporary health camps, water and electric supply have been provided round the clock. The temple administration has given permission to 500 barbers to tonsure the head of babies in the temple premises. The district administration has decided to make the hill-top free of polythene, plastic and liquor. Special attention has been given to that effect by engaging local volunteers to convince devotees not to use polythene,’ Panda said.
Ganjam collector Vijay Amruta Kulange also visited the temple to assess the arrangements.
Over 600 police personnel, including 8 platoons and more than 80 officers were deployed in the temple premises for traffic management and to look into the law and order problem, said SDPO Purushottampur, Nimei Sethi.
Last year, the hair accumulated from the temple premises were collected by an Andhra
Pradesh-based company. This year, too, a tender was floated and the same company was awarded to collect the hair after securing the deal at Rs 1.10 lakh, sources said.