Tarapeeth is a small temple town near Rampurhat in Birbhum district of the Indian state of West Bengal, known for its Tantric temple and its adjoining cremation (Maha Smashan) grounds where sadhana? (tantric rituals) are performed. The Tantric Hindu temple is dedicated to the goddess Tara, a fearsome Tantric aspect of the Devi, the chief temples of Shaktism. Tarapith derives its name from its association as the most important centre of Tara worship and her cult. Tarapith is also famous for Sadhak Bamakhepa, known as the avadhuta or "mad saint", who worshipped in the temple and resided in the cremation grounds as a mendicant and practised and perfected yoga and the tantric arts under the tutelage of another famous saint, the Kailashpathi Baba. Bamakhepa dedicated his entire life to the worship of Tara Maa. His ashram is also located in bank of Dwaraka river and close to the Tara temple.
The name of the place originated from the sitting place of Goddess Tara. It is believed that Goddess Tara is present here and the place is one of the 51 Sakthi Pithas, scattered all over India. According to legend, Tarapith is the place where the throat of Sati had fallen, when Lord Vishnu cut the body of Sati into pieces using his Sudarshan Chakra due to the fear that intensive Thandava Nrutham or dance of Lord Siva will destruct the whole world. Tarapith is popular for its temples, namely Ma Tara Temple and Nalhateshwari Temple. Ma Tara Temple enshrines an idol of the Goddess Tara in the form of Kali Devi. The temple was constructed by Jagannath Ray, of Mallarpur village, in 1225. Adjoining the temple, there is a cremation ground. The gates of the ground are inscribed with the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Every year many married women come to this temple to get blessings for a long married life. The Tara Temple is also known as a tantric temple and many tantric rites are performed in the nearby ground.
Tarapith is also known for the Bamakhepa saint. It is believed that Maa Tara once appeared in front of him and bestowed the saint with divine powers. He had worshipped Maa Tara his whole life and resided in the cremation ground while spending his days as a mendicant. He used to practise Yoga and the Tantric arts. His ashram is also located near the temple. Nalhateshwari Temple is a nearby tourist attraction. The temple is located in Nalhati, the name of the town was derived from Nalhateshwari temple, the place where the Nalaa??, the throat of Goddess Sati (Shakthi) had fallen. The temple is dedicated to Devi Kali.
The nearest airport to Tarapith is Kolkata Airport, which is at a distance of 225 kilometres. Kolkata is well connected to many national and international airports. Taxis are available from the airport to reach the place. The nearest railway station is Rampurhat, which is connected to major stations like Howrah and Sealdah. The best time to visit the town is between October and March.