After its development, the Tara Tarini hill shrine in Ganjam district is fast emerging a major tourist destination of Orissa.
During the current month of Chaitra more than 20 lakh tourists have already visited the hill shrine. Last year around 17 lakh tourists visited the hill shrine during the same period. It may be noted that the four Tuesdays of Chaitra are considered special days for darshan of the deities. During these days, a large rural fair also comes up at the foothill of the shrine. The rush of devotees continued during the Navaratri, which ended on Ramnavami.
The authorities of the Tara Tarini Development Board (TTDB) are too enthusiastic about the crowd that gathered at the hill shrine during Chaitra as they included visitors from all over the country. There were a large number of tourists from the north-eastern states, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.
According to a report of the TTDB, more than 50,000 persons offered the hair of their children by getting them tonsured at the hill shrine during this month. The developmental works taken up by the TTDB is the reason behind the surge of tourists to the spot, which includes modern amenities like the ropeway to the hill top.
On the eve of the Chaitra festivities at the shrine, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated a multifunctional complex and a toilet complex on the foot hill of the shrine. A large toilet complex is also being built up on the hill top. The TTDB authorities have decided to put up 5,000 tents around the hill shrine during the month of Chaitra next year for the convenience of devotees.
These tents would provide accommodation to at least 50,000 persons. As the crowd flow to the top of the hill shrine is on the rise it has also been decided to take up measures to prevent landslide from the top. For it, retaining guard walls would be constructed on both sides of the hill top. Four new ‘parshwa temples' will be added to the newly-constructed temple complex on the hill top.