There is no dearth of beautiful temple towns in India. There are plenty of them spread out everywhere, giving peace and serenity to all the visitors that walk their lanes. Is Tarapith, the quiet and modest temple town by Kolkata one of them?
It turns out that there is much more to Tarapith. It isn’t your average temple town, nor is there anything humble about it. There are a whole lot of beautiful temples sure, but also ample mysticism which dates back to ancient times that is attached to this town which makes it all more powerful and enticing than any normal temple town – earning it its world-wide fame of being the town of tantra.
Tarapith is home to a fierce form of Shakti, Tara devi (also called Maa Tara by the locals here) who is worshipped in a popular temple in this town. There are many tantric rituals that are known to take place in this temple and the burial grounds behind the temple. While this temple is the major reason people flock here, there are many other temples and historically significant sites you can visit while you are here.
Things to see in Tarapith :
Apart from the legendary temple of Tara Maa that is the major attraction here, there are other places to visit as well. The ‘Jibith Kunda’ or the ‘living pond’ is worth a visit too. The temple of Biram which is close-by is another one of the temples of this place that people don’t miss out on as they are here.
The ‘temple of Charchala’ which is said to have been built by Rani Bhawani is one among the popular temples of this place where a stone is worshipped. A short distance away from this place is the ‘temple of Akali’ , which was built by freedom fighter Nandakumar. According to the popular legend, this temple was built after goddess Kali appeared in his dreams and instructed him to build the temple.
A little away from this town is ‘Nalahati’, yet another shaktipeeth that people make it a point to visit. There is more to this town than all of its fascinating temples – the Gol ghar which was built by the British and is still preserved is worth paying a visit too.
When to go :
October through March is an ideal time to visit Tarapith as the summers here are known for being unbearably hot. The rains here are quite heavy as well but it gets better and colder from October and stays that way for the first few months of a year.
Getting there :
By Air : The nearest airport is in Kolkata from which Tarapith is 290 kms approxiamately.
By Rail : The closest railway station is the Ramhut station in Bolpur. Once you get here, to get to Tarapith, you can either take a taxi or bus. There are many buses that connect here from the local bus-station.
By Road : Driving down to Tarapith from Kolkata is a great option as well and it could take you about 4 to 5 hours when you take the route via Shantiniketan.
Getting around :
Getting around Tarapith is easy as it is a small town and most of the places here can be covered by foot. If you are planning to visit temples away from the town or around the town, hiring a cab is a good option.