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  Tarapith Kali Temple  
Tarapith is a small temple town in Birbhum district of West Bengal, India. This town is famous for the temple which lies there in. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Tara, a Tarapith Temple
fearsome form of the Divine shakti. Tarapith derives its name from the fact that it is the most important centre of Tara worship. Famous Kali devotee Bamakhepa used to worship in this very temple and resided in the crematory which is adjacent to the temple.
Myth behind Tarapith- Legends regarding the origination and importance of this place are many in number and they vary from each other. The most well known legend relate to the Shakti Peethas. Not withstanding her husband Shiva’s insult by her father Daksha, Sati jumped into fire and gave her life. Enraged by this mishap, Shiva went wild. To pacify Him,Vishnu decimated the body of Sati with his chakra into 51 different parts. The body parts fell all over the Indian subcontinent. The places where the body parts fell – have become centres of worship of the Goddess in different manifestations. There are 51 of those and they are called Shakti Peethas. Some of them are in West Bengal. Sage Vasishtha had seen this form and worshipped goddess Sati in the form of Tara.

Another fairly popular legend states that after Shiva had drunk the poison which emerged out of the churning of the cosmic oceans to save the universe, Sati – in the form of Tara – breast fed Shiva to relieve him of the effect of poison in his throat. Vasishtha chose this place for worship of Sati as it was already known as a Tarapith. Tarapith is siddha pith which grants enlightenment, happiness, special power and wisdom. Tarapith is considered as one of the most important holy places by the Bengali Hindu people.
Description of the deity in Tarapith- The deity of Tara is enshrined inside the temple. It is a special temple for more reasons than one. The nearby cremation ground in the first place makes this a quite rare temple, especially considering its surroundings. The worship here includes blood offerings. The strong rituals, the hymns sung here also contribute to make this temple a very special one.
The temple base is made up of red brick. There are two Tara images in the sanctum. The stone image of Tara is camouflaged by a metal image which the devotees see.
Tara Ma Idol
It depicts Tara in her fiery image; wearing a garland of skulls and having four arms.
The image is wrapped in a sari and is under a silver umbrella. The forehead is decorated with vermilion. Speck of this vermilion is taken and rubbed on foreheads of the devotees as this, as widely believed, is nothing but Maa Tara’s blessings. The devotees offer coconuts, bananas and silk saris, and unusually bottles of whisky.
The devotees chant hymns or poems in Maa Tara’s praise and then take a holy bath at the sacred tank, which is there beside the temple, after they are done with their worship. They also take a holy dip in that tank before entering the temple. The waters of the tank are said to have healing powers and even restore life to the dead.
Tara pith Blood sacrifice of goats is the daily activity here. Devotees bathe the goats in the holy tank near the temple before the sacrifice. The goat is then tethered to a stake, the designated post in a sand pit, and the neck of the goat butchered with a single stroke by a special sword. A small quantity of the blood is then collected and offered to the deity in the temple. Sometimes the devotees also smear their forehead with the blood, as this is believed to be a way of seeking blessings from Maa Tara.
Tarapith has always been a popular temple among the masses and devotees, alike. On special occasion (including the Kali Puja),people from all over the state of West Bengal and from outside gather at Tarapith to seek for Maa Tara’s blessings.
How to reach Tarapith- Tarapith is close to 300 miles from Calcutta, Tarapith is situated on the banks of the north flowing Dwarka River, in Birbhum, West Bengal. Buses connect the place well with other parts of West Bengal, especially Kolkata. Trains too are available, Rampurhat being the nearest station. Cab/taxi too are available, mostly from Kolkata.
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