Located five kilometer north of Shantiniketan
, Tarapith is a famous center of Tantric Hinduism
, a system of esoteric practices used for both attainment of spiritual experiences and the fulfillment of worldly desires. The shrine is dedicated to the powerful Goddess Tara
(a form of Goddess Kali
). The temple was constructed by a merchant named Joyabroto, following his vision of Shakti
. The idol is adorned with snakes, sacred threads and has an image of Lord Shiva
lying on her left lap sucking her breast.
The legend is that during the churning of the ocean by gods and demons for nectar, first poison gushed out. To save the universe from this all engulfing poison, Lord Shiva drank it and as a result his throat started burning. The Goddess then fed Lord with her breast milk and cured him of poisonous burns.
Devotees come here to obtain deliverance from the earthly bindings and deeds and to get the blessings of the Goddess. Tantric rituals are performed at this temple and some practitioners of Tantrism also stay near the temple. The grove beside the temple is home to monkeys.
There is a pilgrims' inn close to the temple. Rampurhat Railway Station
is 8 km north.