| Chief minister Nitish Kumar at the Ugratara festival. Telegraph picture |
Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday laid the foundation stone for the development work of Tara Sthan Shakti temple at Mahishi block in Saharsa, around 200km northeast of Patna.
“Ugratara temple is visited by pilgrims from Bihar and other states for offering prayers. Mahishi is not only the Shaktipeeth of Ugratara but also the birthplace of Pandit Mandan Mishra, a renowned philosopher of the 8th century. The temple is being beautified and redeveloped because of its religious and historical significance. I expect that the tourism department would complete all development work at the temple within a year,” Nitish said during the inaugural function of the two-day Ugratara Cultural Festival.
The temple development project would be executed utilising Rs 3.26 crore. It envisages development of public amenities, construction of walls around the temple premises, construction of shops and ghat development at Mandan Ashram, among other measures. Nitish also announced the development of a multi-storeyed guesthouse for pilgrims.
Speaking on the occasion, tourism minister Sunil Kumar said the work on the development project would start after Durga Puja. “According to the instruction of the honourable chief minister, we would work on a war-footing to complete the project before the next Ugratara festival. We opened the tenders for the construction on Wednesday at Mahishi and the corresponding work order would be awarded in a couple of days.”
Devotees have started to throng Ambika Sthan temple at Aami village in Saran this Navratri. The temple, around 50km northeast of Patna, is considered a Shaktipeeth. The puja would end with a havan on Navami, October 23.