Tarapith is a modest temple near Birbhum, 264 kilometres from Kolkata, on the banks of the Dwarka River. The Hindu community considers the temple fortunate due to its age and antiquity. The regal temple, one of India’s 51 Shakti Peeths, is still one of the most significant locations where tantric rites are practised. The poor frequently frequented it throughout the year, who came to receive a free lunch.
|Temple Name||Tarapith Temple|
|Temple is also known as||Tarapith Kali Mandir, Tara ma Temple and Sadhan Pith of Sadhak – Bamakhyapa|
|Temple Dedicated to||Maa Kali|
|Temple Timing||5:30 AM to 10:00 PM|
|Aarti||Kali Mata Ki Aarti|
|Darshan Fee||No fees|
|VIP Entry||Not available|
|Live Darshan||Watch on YouTube|
|Important Festivals||Sankranti, Diwali and Kali Pooja|
|Address||VIP Road, Tarapith, City, Rampurhat, West Bengal 731233|
|Contact Number||+91-90733 86803/90733 86804/90733 27315|
|Official Email IDfirstname.lastname@example.org|
About Tarapith Temple
Tarapith is a tiny temple town near Rampurhat in the Birbhum district of the Indian state of West Bengal. It is famous for its Tantric temple and the adjacent cremation grounds (Maha Smashan), where sdhan (tantric rituals) are performed. The Tantric Hindu temple is devoted to the Goddess Tara, a terrible Tantric aspect of the Devi, and is one of the principal Shakti temples. Tarapith takes its name from the fact that it was the most important centre of Tara worship and her cult.
Sadhak Bamakhepa, also known as the avadhuta or “crazy saint,” worshipped in the temple and dwelt in the cremation grounds as a mendicant and practised and polished yoga and the tantric arts under the guidance of another famous saint, Kailashpathi Baba, is also associated with Tarapith. Bamakhepa devoted his entire existence to the adoration of Tara Maa. His ashram is also situated near the Tara shrine and the Dwaraka river.
West Bengal’s Tarapith is a small village in the Sahapur Gram Panchayet, Margram Police Station, on the banks of the Dwarka River. It is situated on the floodplains between verdant rice paddies. It resembles a Bengali village with its thatched-roof homes and fish ponds. The settlement is located 6 kilometres from the Birbhum district’s Rampurhat Subdivision. The closest railway stations are “Rampurhat” and “Tarapith Road.”
|Other Famous Temples of West Bengal||Other Famous Temples of Maa Kali|
|Mangal Chandi Mandir, Ujani||Madayi Kavu Temple, Kannur, Kerala|
|Belur Math||Shri Kalka Ji Temple, Delhi|
The legend of the temple may be traced back to when Vashishta unsuccessfully attempted to master the Tantrik Arts despite his attempts. This prompted him to pay a visit to Lord Buddha, who advised him to practise in Tarapith, the ideal place to worship Ma Tara. Thus, Vashishta travelled to Tarapith and began to worship Ma Tara using the left-handed Tantrik ritual and Panchamakara, or the five banned items. Ma Tara appeared before him as a heavenly mother nursing Lord Shiva to her breast before transforming into stone. Since that day, this deity’s mother figure has been revered at Tarapith.
The Tarapith Temple is also well-known for the insane saint Bama Khepa, who is revered there. Under the tutelage of Kailashpathi Baba, an additional renowned saint, he perfected both Yoga and Tantric art while residing in the cremation grounds. Bama Khepa devoted his life to Ma Tara’s worship. His ashram is located next to the temple.
The base and walls of the Tarapith Temple are made of red bricks. The main temple is a four-sided tower made of marble blocks with a curving roof known as a dochala. Underneath this structure is a smaller tower with four sides and its dochala protruding. There is a stone depiction of Maa Tara as a mother breastfeeding Shiva. The image of the deity is maintained in the chamber’s attic.
Another three-foot-tall metal statue of Maa Tara is depicted in her fiery form, with four arms wearing a garland of skulls around her neck and her tongue protruding. The picture has a silver crown and flowing hair above its head. The picture is draped in a sari, adorned with garlands, and topped with a silver umbrella. The deity’s forehead is adorned with red kumkum. Priests apply this kumkum to the foreheads of devotees as a symbol of Maa Tara’s blessings. The devotees present the deity with bananas, silk saris, and coconuts.
Importance of Temple
In addition to being a well-known Shakti Pitha, the place is also very important from a religious tourism point of view. The temple is the home of the Goddess Tara. It is different from other temples in many ways. This temple is unique, especially given its surroundings, because it is next to a cemetery where people are cremated. The religion here calls for blood sacrifices. This temple is also different because of the intense ceremonies and hymns held here. Red bricks make up the base of the temple. There are two images of Tara in the sanctum. The people who worship Tara see a metal image that covers up the stone image of Tara. A lot of people go to the temple often, and it is a popular place for tourists to go.
Tantra Sadhana and Tantrics are said to be best done in Tarapith. The cremation site is on the bank of the River Dwarka. There are several Trantric huts and hermitages there. Under the banyan trees, there are some thatched-roof Trantric cottages made of mud. People are afraid of the place because skulls with red paint are buried in the clay walls. People say that you can see the Goddess Tara in the shadows drinking the blood of goats killed every day at her shrine to calm her anger. People with faces covered in ash are often seen in and around the temple.
Festivals and Poojas at Tarapith Temple
Sankranti Mela is held every Sankranti day of the Hindu month. Dola Purnima is held in February/March, Basantika Parba is held in Chaitra (March/April), Gamha Purnima is held in July/August, and Chaitra Parba is held every Tuesday of Chaitra. The Tarapith Amavasya Annual Festival, held at the temple every August, is a very important and well-known festival. It is also the most well-known event at the temple.
Every day of the week, from 6 AM to 9 PM, puja is held in the temple. The Shahnai and other musical instruments wake Devi Tara up every morning at 4 AM, after which worship begins. In this process, a group of devotees open the door to the Garbha Griba, wash her feet, clean her room, and re-make her bed. Honey and ghee are put on the idol before it is washed with the pure water of Jivitkund. Then, a sari, a necklace of skulls, and a mask are put on the idol. The mangalarti starts after this.
As part of the tantric sadhana, Pooja also happens in the afternoon, when rice is given to the idol. This anna bhog has atap rice, meat from the sacrificed goat, rice pudding, fried fish, and five other kinds of food. After the annabhog, the temple is closed for a while so that the god can rest. Evening Sandhya Aarti is performed, and the god’s bed is made.
Before they are killed, goats are made to bathe in the holy tank of the temple. The goat’s neck is then cut off with one cut from a special sword. The goat’s blood is put into a small vessel and given to the god.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to go to the temple is between September and March when the heat has gone away, and the weather is nice. Most tourists like to visit between November and December when it is cold, and the Tarapith Temple is beautiful. Durga Puja is another happy time when people visit the temple to see the celebrations going on in the city.
Tantric worship of the Goddess has been done for hundreds of years. In West Bengal, Tarapith is one of the most important places for Tantric practice, which was at its best when Sadhok Bamakhepa Dev was alive. Hindus love their Goddess Tara a lot, and they often go to see Her when they have a hard time.
Most of the time, they pray to the deity and choose the “Mannat.” When their wishes come true, they give the Goddess the promised things, like a double goat sacrifice (Jora patha Bali), sarees, jewellery, valuable things, etc.
Tarapith Mandir Timing
The Tarapith Mandir is open every day of the year from 5:30 AM to 10:00 PM.
|Prabhat Darshan (Morning)||5.30 AM to 12.00 PM|
|Madhyanya Darshan (Afternoon)||1.30 PM to 6.00 PM|
|Sandha Darshan (Evening)||7.30 PM to 10.00 PM|
The Tarapith Mandir is closed from 12 PM to 1:30 PM for Bhog and from 6 PM to 7:30 PM for Sandha Aarti. Devotees are not permitted during these three hours.
There is no required attire for visiting Tarapith. Nevertheless, please wear modest attire.
How to Reach Temple
By Air: The nearest airport is Kolkata’s Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose airport. One can take a cab or bus from the airport to Tarapith.
By Train: Rampurhat is the closest train station via road. Rampurhat has excellent connections to Howrah and Sealdah. From the train station to Tatapith, taxi services are available.
By Road: state-owned and commercial buses connect Tarapith with Kolkata’s Esplanade/Dharamtala bus station and the state’s adjacent cities.