Other States

Monkeys get a feast at hill temple in Odisha

They are fed the ‘annaprasad’ that has no takers since the lockdown due to COVID-19

Over 3,000 monkeys are being provided food by the management of the Tara Tarini hill shrine every day to save them from starvation.

This famous hill temple in Odisha’s Ganjam district has been closed to devotees since March 16. The annual Chaitra Jatra festival that attracts lakhs of pilgrims was also cancelled.

Monkeys get a feast at hill temple in Odisha
 

The monkeys live in the woods on the hill on which the Tara Tarini temple is built. They had grown dependent on devotees for sustenance. The nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19 has prevented the monkeys from getting their quota of fruits, nuts and ‘prasad’ (food offered to the deity) from devotees.

“To save the animals from starving and to stop them straying into nearby villages, we decided to feed them every day from March 17. As there are no visitors to take ‘annaprasad’ of the temple, it is being given away to the monkeys at the hill top,” said Executive Officer T.K. Reddy.

Full stomach: Monkeys at Tara Tarini.

Full stomach: Monkeys at Tara Tarini.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

 

In fact, the quantity of ‘prasad’ being cooked has been increased to feed the monkeys. “When prasad falls short, we again cook upma for these monkeys, adding vegetables and tomatoes,” Mr. Reddy said. Now, the monkeys have started gathering around noon at the hilltop to get their meal for the day.

Villagers’ gesture

On the request of the Tara Tarini temple administration, some nearby villages have started providing rotis for the monkeys. Villagers are also sending vegetables from their fields for the animals. But now, the monkeys — which are getting used to cooked food, fruit and nuts — seem to be turning up their noses at raw vegetables.

 

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 12:32:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/monkeys-get-a-feast-at-hill-temple-in-odisha/article31221802.ece

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