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Navy honours Tara-Tarini hill shrine by naming sailboat

Was the traditional patron deity for ancient Odisha sailors

Induction of the Indian Navy’s sailboat INSV Tarini, named after the Tara-Tarini hill shrine in Ganjam district of Odisha, has become an event of joy and pride for the inhabitants of the district.

The first all-women crew on board INSV Tarini will set sail in August this year to circumnavigate the globe. But for the people of Ganjam district, naming of the sailboat is an honour for the Tara-Tarini shrine and Odia maritime history. In Sanskrit, the word Tarini means both boat and saviour. Tara-Tarini was the traditional patron deity for sailors and merchants of ancient Odisha, who worshipped it for safety and success at sea.

Tara Tarini Development Board (TTDB) secretary Pramod Panda said the Tara Tarini shrine represents reverence for mother deity and acceptance of mother nature as the protector. Mr. Panda thanked the Indian Navy for naming the new sailboat after the hill shrine.

According to him, this small but great gesture will surely draw attention of people all over the country towards this famous hill shrine of south Odisha.

Rich maritime history

In a statement, cultural organisation ‘Utkal Parishad’ expressed joy over the homage to the deities of the Tara-Tarini hill shrine through the naming of INSV Tarini. According to the organisation, it recognises the rich maritime history of Odisha and Ganjam district. Members of civic organisation ‘Forum for Ganjam’ also celebrated this naming of naval sailboat. J. Suresh of the organisation said this will surely make the young generation become proud of the rich culture and heritage of Odisha and Ganjam region.

Tara-Tarini shrine is located on the Kumari hills on the banks of Rushikulya river in Puriushottampur block of Ganjam district. According to historians, this holy shrine may be linked to the worship of Tara, the primordial deity of the Mahayana Buddhism. Later, it became a major shrine of Tantra.

Buddhist links

A small idol in meditating posture found in the sanctum sanctorum of Tara Tarini temple hints at its ancient Buddhist links.

‘Sadhabas’, the ancient sea faring merchants from Odisha revered Tara-Tarini and worshipped at this shrine before starting their sea voyage.

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Printable version | Jul 6, 2020 8:18:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Navy-honours-Tara-Tarini-hill-shrine-by-naming-sailboat/article17331284.ece

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