Taraknath Temple is the prime attraction of Tarakeshwar village of Hooghly District. Taraknath Temple, dedicated to Lord Taraknath, was constructed in the year 1729 by Raja Bharamalla. The temple is built in central West Bengal style of temple architecture with features such as ‘atchala’ and ‘natmandir’. The temple has four roofs above the sanctum sanctorum and extended galleries for the congregation of the devotees.
Taraknath Temple is considered among one of the 12 abodes of Lord Shiva or the Jyotirlinga temples in India. This temple also has minor shrines dedicated to Goddess Kali and Lord Lakshmi-Narayan. Some of the auspicious occasions at this temple are Sravan month, Maha Shivratri, Chaitra Sankranti, etc.
Tarakeshwar Temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and receives a huge number of local devotes on a regular basis. It is one of those places in Hooghly that remain densely packed with visitors throughout the year. The best time to visit this temple is the monsoon season as it hosts a grand fair for devotees during this period. Tarakeshwar temple has got a deep mythological value attached to it and it is believed that a visit to this temple in good faith can fulfil all your wishes.
Festival of Tarakeshwar Temple
Numerous devotees and pilgrims visit Tarakeshwar temple from around the country, throughout the year. Most of the pilgrims come particularly on Mondays. Moreover, during the occasions of Gajan and Shivaratri, thousands of devotees throng the temple site. Pilgrims visit the temple throughout the year, especially on Mondays. But thousands of pilgrims visit Tarakeswar on the occasions of 'Shivaratri' and 'Gajan', the former taking place in Falgun (Feb-March) while the latter lasts for five days ending on the last day of Chaitra (mid-April). The month of Sravana (mid-July to mid-August) is auspicious for Shiva when celebrations are held on each Monday.
Kolkata is a wonderful place for religious expeditions. The entire city and its excursions are full of umpteen religious places and holy shrines. One of them is Taraknath Temple of Tarakeshwar, which is located near Kolkata, in Hooghly. It is one of the most revered temples of Tarakeshwar, a form of Lord Shiva. The temple is also one of the oldest in the city, dating back to the 18th century.
Dudhpukur Tank is one of the main attractions of Tarakeshwar village, which is situated towards the north of Tarakeshwar Temple. Dudhpukur Tank, which is associated with the temple, means Milk Tank. Pilgrims visiting Tarakeshwar temple often take a dip in this tank for the fulfilment of their wishes. It is also believed that the water in the tank possesses medicinal properties and a bath here can keep one healthy.
As per folklore, the tank was built at the time of the construction of the temple in the year 1729 by Raja Bharamalla.
On 13th April, Bengalis celebrate “Neel Puja”. This puja or worship is done mainly by married woman who fast throughout the day and pour milk over the “Shiva Lingam” at a nearby Shiva Temple. The Puja is done to please the lord and get his blessings for her husband and children.
The most intriguing part of Gajan Festival is Chark Puja. The tradition of Charak Puja is all about worshipping the Charak tree and the several penance acts performed by Charak Sanyasis around and on the tree. This act is performed on 14th April every year.
How to reach
Nearest airport to Tarakeshwar is Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata. From there one can take a cab or can take a train from Howrah to reach Tarakeswar.
By Train:There is a railway station named Tarakeshwar Station, which is few station far away from Howrah Station. Local trains are available on regular basis to Tarakeswar station.
By Road:Buses are available from Dharmatala, Howrah, Chinsura Bus Stand to Tarakeshwar or one can take direct cab to reach the place.