Statues of Shankaracharya, Ahilyabai, Bharat Mata installed at Kashi Vishwanath Dham

  • | Monday | 13th December, 2021

Varanasi, Dec 13 (PTI) A sculpture of Bharat Mata against the symbolic backdrop of India and statues of Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar and saint Adi Shankaracharya have been installed in the sprawling campus of the Kashi Vishwanath Dham. Modi on Monday inaugurated the first phase of the mega corridor project built around the core of the temple that was constructed by Maharani Ahilyabai around 1780. "Kashi is not only the cultural and spiritual capital of India, it is also a living avatar of India"s soul. It is situated in Uttar Pradesh region, connecting north and east, where Vishwanath temple was damaged, and then the temple was reconstructed by Mata Ahilyabai Holkar, whose "janmabhoomi" was Maharashtra, but "karmabhoomi" was Indore, Maheswar and other areas. "Today, I bow to Mata Ahilyabai Holkar, 200-250 years ago, she did so much," he said in his address at the event held just outside the temple courtyard. "Since then, so much work for Kashi, has happened now," Modi claimed. The prime minister then recalled the contribution of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and people of Punjab to the ancient temple. "To enhance the glory of Baba Vishwanath, Maharaja Ranjit Singh from Punjab had lent 23 "mann" gold for capping its "shikhar". Guru Nanak Dev had come to Kashi and had done "satsang" here. Other Sikh gurus also had a special bond with Kashi. And, Punjab people had opened their hearts liberally to contribute for the reconstruction of the temple," he added. From the east, Rani Bhawani gave it all for Kashi, kings of Mysore and other regions in the south, have made very big contribution for Benares, the prime minister said. "We can find temple made in north Indian, south Indian, and Nepali architecture styles here," Modi said. Later in a tweet, he shared pictures of him offering floral tributes to Adi Shankaracharya and Bharat Mata. "Offered floral tributes to statue of Bharat Mata installed on the premises of Kashi Vishwanath Dham. This form of Maa Bharati in Kashi Vishwanath Dham will trigger our consciousness of faith and duty towards our country," the PM tweeted. "The great Adi Shankaracharya has made monumental contributions towards preserving our culture and civilisational ethos. Paid homage to him at Kashi," he wrote in another tweet. Prime Minister Modi in his address earlier said, Kashi has been the "centre of spiritual consciousness". "And, now in this Kashi Vishwanath Dham, in its grand form, will now add energy to this consciousness," he said, clad in a golden-colour kurta-pyjama and an "angavastra". The temple premises and new ornamental gateways were bedecked with heavy stock of flowers for its inauguration. The mega corridor, whose foundation stone was laid by Modi on March 8, 2019, connects the main temple with Lalita Ghat. Grand gateways and ornamental arches have been built in heritage architecture style in four directions, facing the ancient temple at its core. The corridor project is now being referred to as Kashi Vishwanath Dham. The current structure of the temple was constructed by Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar around 1780, and in the 19th century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh had got it crowned with a golden "shikhar". Huge posters of Maharani Ahilyabai were put up on the premises of the corridor on the occasion. Inside Benaras Gallery, there is a giant mural of Ahilyabai, while on the right side of the route of the corridor emerging from the ghat, a statue of the queen in a sitting posture has been installed. The statue of Adi Shankaracharya has also been put up near her statue. The sprawling corridor, now also has a stone sculpture of Bharat Mata, with ornamental carvings and holding a Tricolour, standing against the backdrop of India. The map of India has been depicted on a metallic surface with art and cultural heritage of the country being depicted on it. The back of the sculpture faces an old temple, which in turn faces the Ganga. PTI KND RDK RDK

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