Bhubaneswar, April 7, 2021: From Jain rock-cut caves to Hindu temples to Buddhist stupas, Odisha contains some of the finest examples of ancient Indian architecture. Odisha is a major destination for culture vultures, architecture lovers, and anyone eager to explore India’s rich past. Its history stretches back several millennia, and is particularly reputed for its many temples, some of which were built hundreds of years ago. Some are ruins while others are still in the same condition, but the temples of Orissa all beautiful and beguiling to discover. One such beautiful and famous temple is Ghatagaon Maa Tarini Temple in Keonjhar.
Visiting hours of Ghatagaon Maa Tarini Temple during Covid-19
The famous Ghatagaon Maa Tarini Temple in Keonjhar district in Odisha reopened for devotees on Monday after remaining closed for almost nine months due to Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
Devotees and their family members were allowed entry into the shrine first between 8 am to 9 am while the general public will be allowed to have darshan from 9 am.
Devotees would be permitted to have the darshan of Maa Tarini in two time slots, between 8 am to 12.30 pm and 4 pm to 6.30 pm every day, President of Maa Tarini Thakurani Temple Trust Board, Rajendra Patnaik had informed earlier.
Inside of Ghatagaon Maa Tarini Temple
Ghatagaon Maa Tarini Temple is a place of famous pilgrimage centre of Odisha. Maa Tarini Temple is raised in modern time, is the symbol of purity.
The legend is that Maa Tarini is merciful and benevolent to her devotees. The forest reserves situated near the temple add beauty to the Maa Tarini Pitha.
Devotees offer coconut to goddess and the goddess is still worshiped by tribal priests. Local people observe MahaBisuba Sankranti during the month of Chaitra Purnima with great forever & pomp.
Visitors within the state and outside of the state throng here in lakhs to pay their respect to Mother Goddess all around the year. Maa Tarini Pitha is just 45 km away from Keonjhar town.
Maa Tarini is always depicted as a red face with two large eyes and a mark in the middle which serves as an indication for a nose and also a tilak. This primitive conception is symbolic of the simplicity of tribal beliefs and ceremonies.
History of the temple
The history of the temple is drawn in the depth of the past. However, the known legends indicate that the deity was installed in the year 1480 by the then ruler of Keonjhar state Sri Gobinda Bhanjadeo.
During the “Kanchi War” the then ruler of Puri Sri Purusottam Dev selected Sri Gobinda Bhanja the ruler of Keonjhar as “Senapati” and under his leadership he was able to conquered Kanchi. King Purusottam Dev won the war and Princess Padmavati came with King Purusottam Dev. The King wanted to bring Maa Tarini along with Lord Madanmohan, Raghunathjew to Puri. They prayed them to bring them.
Thus, they came to Kalinga or Odisha. After that Sri Purusottam Dev was pleased and wanted to reward Sri Gobinda Bhanja.
Sri Gobinda Bhanja asked to take the deity ‘Maa Tarini’ along with him to Keonjhar state. King Purusottam Dev agreed to this and asked him to ask Maa’s permission.
Govinda Bhanja prayed Maa and Maa agreed with one condition. Maa said she will go with him as long as Govinda Bhanja doesn’t look back to see Maa. With this condition, maa went with Govinda Bhanjha to Kendujhar (Keonjhar). On the way from Puri to Kendujhar, Maa horse hoof sounds were audible. In the forest of Kendujhar, Maa’s horse hoofs were not audible to Govinda Bhanja. He got scared that Maa stayed behind and he turned to look back to see. There and then Maa turned into stone at Ghatgaon at the present place where the deity is installed. Govinda Bhanjha prayed Maa for forgiveness but Maa said she has made the condition with him before coming.
And she will stay in the wild jungle and asked Govinda Bhanjha to worship in that place. Till today Maa Tarini is being worshipped in Ghatagaon.
Today, it is a major tourist attraction in Keonjhar. In the year 1970 the management of the deity was took over by the Orissa Hindu Religious Endowment Department of Govt. of Orissa by continuing a Board of Non-Hereditary-Trustees under the provision of O.H.R.E. Act. The Present temple was constructed in the year 1980 by the then Trust Board.
Significance of the temple
Devotees from all over Odisha and also from outside Odisha send thousands and thousands of coconuts to Maa Tarini temple every day. The location is possible picturesque and there are many small and big waterfall nearby.
It’s believed that offering a coconut to the Goddess brings all wishes of the devotees true. Collection boxes for coconuts can be seen at all big and small transport hubs in Orissa.
As a matter of fact, you can hand over a coconut to any public transport vehicle in Orissa and rest assured the coconut will reach Maa Tarini’s temple.
It is considered an ill omen if one rejects the coconuts being sent to Maa Tarini. Unlike other shrines of Odisha and even India where lots of offerings to the deities goes wasted into drains or gutters, theofferings,i.e., the coconuts never go waste but in turn it provides revenues to the local people in the form of pure extracted coconut oil and the famous Kora, a delicacy made from the offered coconuts.
Truly Maa Tarini is the people’s Goddess and as per mythology and the experience of people maa Tarini responds to the devotees just like a mother responds to her children.
Also, as per beliefs of localities, all the obstacles are cleared from the path when a coconut is sent to the goddess with a pure and true heart.