Tarakka: Ancient Monuments of Bhubaneswar as Reflections of Stars
By Deepak Bhattacharya 1 & P. C. Naik 2
Edited by Sharif Sakr
Regional sub-epics talk about the "Forest of Tarakka", wherein the Lord Siva is said to have appeared for the first time, at the center of the Universe. On a star chart, the star α-Orionis can be joined with imaginary radiating lines to various other stars bright or culturally important stars, forming a starry pattern or "inter-star" in which α-Orionis/Rudra is at the center. Using the map and, wherever possible, the theodolite results, the monuments on the ground can likewise be joined by radial lines to the central Parasurameswar temple, which represents both Betelgeuse and Siva, creating a terrestrial image of the inter-star. In view of the mythology, we will call this inter-star pattern "Tarakka". Because the angular distances between the stars in the celestial Tarakka, and the angular distances between the monuments in the celestial Tarakka are approximately equivalent, the terrestrial Tarakka can be easily correlated with the celestial one (see Fig. 6). The concept of the Tarakka pattern compels us to exclude any other star or monument as the central one, because an inter-star pattern cannot be replicated using any star other than Rudra, or any temple other than Parasurameswar. The celestial Tarakka comprises of 28 stars, arranged in a pleasing three-tiered format, with each tier (ayatana)having nine stars. The same system applies in the terrestrial Tarakka. The star-temple correlations of each tier will be detailed below.