Tarapith is a temple town in Birbhum-Murshidabad. It is a major Hindu pilgrimage centre and several thousand devotees visit the temple every day.
According to Hindu belief, an insulted Sati, the wife of Lord Shiva, sacrificed herself at a yagna (fire worship ritual) which was being performed by her father Dakshmaharaj. Angry with this incident Lord Shiva started the Tandava Nritya (Dance of Destruction). In order to prevent destruction of all creation, Lord Vishnu used his Sudershan charka (wheel) to cut the body of Sati into several parts. Sati's body was scattered all over the Indian subcontinent. There are 51 such holy spots where temples have been erected and they are called Pithas or the Shakti Pithas. Some of the Pithas are in West Bengal. The most popular of them are Kalighat (in Kolkata}, Bakreshwar and Tarapith. It is believed that the eyeball of Sati fell down at Tarapith. In Bengali, the eye ball is called 'Tara' and that is why the name of the village was changed from the earlier Chandipur to Tarapith.
It is said that in ancient times Saint Bashistha attained his divinity by meditation under a Simul tree on the bank of river Dwaraka. He attained his divinity by worshipping the Goddess Sati or Tara (in the form of Kali)and sitting on tha panch mundi ashan or the sitting place surrounded by 5 skulls of different animals, like human, owl, elephant, black snake and monkey. That Simul tree is no more there and river Dwaraka has moved away. Subsequently a number of saints like Saint Bamakshyapa (19th century devotee) and Kamalakanta (18th century devotee, who composed many songs, still sung) came here to worship the Goddess for their spiritual salvation.
The old temple of Goddess Tara is somewhat damaged. The present temple with eight roofs was built in 1225 by one Jagannath Ray of Mallarpur village. On the main gate of the temple the statue of Goddess Durga and her full family are carved. On the left the war of Kurukshetra (Mahabharata) and on the right stories from Ramayana are depicted.
One has to travel along the Panagarh-Morgram expressway. If one is travelling from Siuri, then one has to turn right just before entering Rampurhat and travel around 11 km to reach Tarapith.
The 1 Rampurhat Junction railway station is about 12 km away. There is a smaller railway station, Tarapith Road, about 5 km away.
Normally one has to get to Tarapith in a hired car/ taxi/ bus. Thereafter, it is small town and one can walk around. Cycle rickshaws are also available.
- 2 Tarapith Bridge Bus Stand, near bridge on Dwarakeswar River.
- 1 Temple of Tarama.
- 2 Tarapith Cemetery.
- 3 Tarapith Mahasmasan. It is an auspicious place well known for its tantric rituals.
- Bamdev Sangha Ashram (A few yards from Tarama temple). You can see a graceful environment at Bamdev Sangha Ashram. Sri Bamakhapa idol established by Maharshi Sri Susil Kumar Bandhopadhaya in Bamdev Sangha Ashram
- Puja or worship. Contact Tara Mata Temple (7001815500) for puja or worship.
- There are many shops trying to attract attention of the pilgrim-tourists.
There are plenty of moderate eating houses serving standard Bengali meals.
Most hotels (see some names under "Sleep") have restaurants - check if they provide meals for non-guests. Many of the hotels provide a variety of cuisine.
No taboos on hard drinks but not available openly. It is better to carry one's own stock of hard drinks if you need one.
There are around 350 lodges or hotels in Tarapith, mostly catering to budget tourists. There is little that is luxurious as this is a pilgrimage centre. There is no problem in getting a place to stay but many people get back to Rampurhat or move on to other places.
- 1 Hotel Shanti Nibas. Check-in: Noon, check-out: 11:30AM. ₹200-1500.
- 2 Orbit Hotel Tarapith, Kabi Chandrapur. 10 minutes walk from Maa Tara Temple. TV, a work desk and a closet supplied in the room. 24-hr room service, security and house-keeping. Dining facilities available in the restaurant.
- 3 Hotel Sonar Bangla, Kabi Chandrapur, Tarapith Temple Road, ☎ , , , . Air conditioned rooms, restaurant, banquet/conference hall, swimming pool, free car parking.
- 4 Swagatam International, ☎ , , . Restaurant cuisine - Bengali, Chinese, Gujarati, Tandoori and North Indian dishes. Arrangements for marriage party and conference. Swimming pool. ₹1,200 for Delux (2 beds) to ₹3,000 for AC Delux (4 beds).
- 5 New Bideshini Hotel, Chandipur, near Tarapith bus stand/Tarapith police station, ☎ , , . AC/ Non-AC rooms with Geyser, Colour TV with cable line, 24-hr generator service (except AC and Geyser), free bus/car parking in hotel premises.
- 6 Bam Tara Hotel and Restaurant, near Bridge Bus Stand, ☎ , , . Cottage, suite, delux AC, non-AC rooms.
- 7 Hotel Yashoda International, ☎ . Surrounded by lush greenery but only a short walk from Maa Tara temple. 63 luxurious rooms with balcony and all modern facilities. 24-hr room service.
- 8 Hotel Classic, ☎ (mobile B.Mondal), (mobile N.Mondal), (landline). Situated on the main road from Rampurhat to Sainthia. Very close to Maa Tara Temple. 40 AC and non-AC rooms. 24-hr power back-up, TV, fridge, geyser, car parking, car rental, travel desk. ₹1,200-6,000.
- 9 Larica Holiday Inn Tarapith, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com.
- 10 Raktajaba Tourist Lodge (Benfish Lodge), Tarapith Main Road, ☎ , , , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Well furnished AC and non AC room with attached bath, balcony, intercom, geyser, restaurants with variety food options. Ample car parking. Arrangements for 'Puja' & 'Darshan' (on payment). Internet reservation.
- Birchandrapur - a Vaishnab religious center with some old temples, is 8 km away.
- Santiniketan - 88 km