The Tara Tarini Mela of Ganjam is not only famous in the District but also throughout the state. The legendary information on Tara Tarini has been given in the chapter “TOURIST SPOT” for reference of the visitors.
The Tara Tarini Mela one of the biggest fairs of Orissa, which takes place on each Tuesday in the month of Chaitra i.e., from around mid March to mid-April at Tara Tarini pitha, which is at a distance of 30 Kms from Berhampur. Thousands of devotees come from every corner of the district as well as out side the State in order to have darshan of Goddess Tara Tarini and perform their Manasika after fulfillment of their desire. A grand congregation takes place on the 3rd Tuesday of the month.
The ‘Taratarini Mela’ also known as Chaitra Parba and Chaitra Mela is observed during each Tuesday of the month of Chaitra i.e. from around mid-March to mid-April at the holy Tara Tarini Hill Shrine (Kalyan Dham) 30 km (19 mi) from Berhampur. A grand congregation takes place on the 3rd Tuesday.
Significant features of the festival are as follows :
- On Tuesday the temple remains open for the Darshan of the deities from 1.00 AM (mid-night on Monday) till 11 PM (of Tuesday). During that period Pahada of the deities is confined to night-time only.
- Devotees in large numbers congregate at the up-hill and downhill temple complex from Monday night.
- 2nd & 3rd Tuesday of the Chaitra is considered to be most auspicious days. Therefore large number of devotees ( Around 5-7 lakhs) congregate during these days.
- Puja and offering by the devotees are offered to the Chalanti Pratima of deities placed at the Bije Pitha for the Bije Pratima. However Darshan of the deities in Garbha Griha (Sanctum of the main temple) is allowed.
- Special arrangements for hair offering are made. 250 barbers at the hill top and more than 500 barbers at the down hill (Foot Hill) at the barber shed are engaged to help their hair offering of their children and other devotees. Hair offering continues from mid-night on Monday till 6 PM of Tuesday.
- Special Khechidi Bhoga (Fried Rice) is supplied to the devotees on receipt of Rs. 7/- per packet from Monday mid-night till 6 PM of Tuesday evening non-stop.