Guwahati: Over five months after it was stolen, the police finally managed to recover the 18th-century idol belonging to the historic Ugratara temple in Guwahati, Assam on Wednesday.
Although the Shakti shrtine, located in the Uzan Bazaar area of the city, has once again come in the limelight over an unfortunate incident, here are a few things that you should know about the temple:
1. Ugratara Temple is dedicated to goddess Tara Devi and is said to be an important Shakti shrine. Legend has it that the navel of Sati, the first consort of Lord Shiva, is related to this 18th-century temple. The temple is generally identified with Tiksna-Kanta, Eka-Jata, etc, of the Buddhist pantheon.
2. The best time to visit Ugratara is during Durga Puja when the temple lights up with mirth and joy. During this time, animal sacrifice is done to appease goddess Ugratara. While you’re at Ugratara temple, you can also visit the adjoining historically important and beautiful Jor Pukhuri, which is blessed with lots of man-made and natural beauty. The British constructed a road in the middle of the pond, dividing it into two, thus earning it the name Jor Pukhuri (meaning twin ponds).
3. The present temple of Ugratara was built by Ahom King Siva Singha in 1725 AD who had excavated a tank three years before that. The tank, known as Jor Pukhuri, is situated to the east of the temple.
4. Kalika Purana describes a Shakti Peetha called Dikkara Vasini. Dikkara Vasini has two forms, Tikshna Kantha and Lalitha Kantha. Tikshna Kantha is black and pot-bellied, also called as Ugra Tara or Eka Jata. Lalitha kantha is gracefully attractive, also called Tamreshwari.
5. Jor Pukhuri at Ugratara Temple is famous for its black softshell turtle, which is one of the rarest species in the world. Apart from its religious values, availability of these rare species of turtles attracts many. The large number of white-winged Indian runner duck, locally known as ‘Raj Hanh’ are also a centre of attraction for many here.