Tarapith is popularly known as the most important centre of worship for the people of Tara cult .Among its distinctive features this place is also known for Bamakhepa - the most well known tantric saint who used to worship in this temple and used to reside in the adjoining cremation ground as a mendicant. He used to perform and practice strange yogas and tantric art under the tutelage of another saint called Kailashpati Baba. Bamakhepa dedicated his entire life to Maa Tara with his kuthir located near the temple. Geographically Tarapith is located in a small village of Sahapur Gram panchayat which falls under the jurisdiction of Kargram police station. Situated at the bank of River Dwarka this place is surrounded with green paddy fields and resembles with any of the West Bengal villages with hatched roofs and mud huts along with small fish tanks. The village covers an area of 6kms and can be reached from Chakrapara which is the nearest railway station of Tarapith.
Legends of Tarapith Temple
Tarapith is one of most legendary temples in west Bengal. The temple often attracts its visitors with a number of stories which centre on Goddess Shakti. Popularly it was believed that when Goddess Parvati's Father Raja Daksh did not invite Lord Shiva in the divine yagna which he performed, Goddess Parvati decided to sacrifice her life. On this Lord Shiva went wild and danced with the body of Sati. On this Lord Vishnu decided to deciminate the body of Sati to pacify Lord Shiva. With his Chakra he divided the body into pieces ant in the process the third eye or 'the tara' fell at tarapith which was later on worshipped as Tarapith. Along with there exist some more legends according to which Rishi Vashisht was the first to worship this place as tarapith which already existed in its original form. Also it was believed that Rishi Vashisht was the first to found the third eye of Sati hat fell at Tarapith and began to worship it as a form of Sati.
Architecture of Tarapith Temple
Built in typical terracotta style of architecture, this is one of the best decorated temples in West Bengal. The architecture of the temple includes a temples base with thick walls, built of red bricks; the superstructure includes a number of passages with a pinnacle known as a shikhara. The temple includes two images of the goddess. The image of Tara Maa includes a fierce structure of goddess kali with four hands wear in a garland of skulls and a protruding tongue. Crowned with a silver crown and flowing hair the image represents one of the fearful look. The temple is popularly known for one of the most fearful way of performing rituals. The priests offer homage with great reverence. While it follows the peculiar tantric method of worshiping the goddess, it also offers sacrifices of goat and other animals to the god which is considered to be one of the most fearful methods of worshiping the goddess.
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