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Bharat Mata Temple

The holy city of Varanasi, situated in Uttar Pradesh, India is known as the city of temples. Apart from the various temples dedicated to deities, there is a unique temple in Varanasi called Bharat Mata Temple. The temple is located approximately 3 km west of Godaulia, on the outskirts of the old city, and is in the campus of Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith.

The Bharat Mata Temple is the only temple that is dedicated to the nation. Bharat Mata is being depicted as a woman clad in saffron sari, holding a flag. This temple has a relief map of the Indian subcontinent and Tibetan plateau, carved out of marble in three dimensions. The map vividly portrays major mountains, rivers, plains, oceans and the holy pilgrimages of India.

Mahatma Gandhi inaugurated the Bharat Mata Temple in 1936. The temple was gifted to the nation by Babu Shiv Prasad Gupta and Shri Durga Prasad Khatri. They were credited with the construction of the temple. The former is a leading nationalist and the latter is a famous numismatist and antiquarian. This seven-storeyed temple stands at a height of 180 ft. It stands on five pillars, which represents the five elements of creation. On the first floor is the statue of Bharat Mata. The temple also has statues of famous freedom fighters of India like Madan Mohan Malaviya, Veer Sawarkar, Subhash Chandra Bose, Mahatma Gandhi, Maharana Pratap, Chhatrapati Shivaji, Guru Govind Singh, Rani of Jhansi, Shahid Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Hemu Kalani, and Ashafaq Ulla. A brief account of their sacrifice is inscribed for reference. The second floor is dedicated to celebrate the womanhood from Vedic times to the present era. It houses statues of many a great women that symbolize chastity, loyalty and dedication. The collection of statues includes images of Kaviatri Anadal, Maitreyi, Savitri, Gargi, Urmila, Damayanti, Anasuya, Madalasa, Padmini, Kirandevi, Annie Besant, Maa Sharada Mani and Meera Bai.

The third floor of the Bharat Mata Temple has the statues of saints of India. This section is dedicated to spiritual giants which include Gautam Buddha, Mahaveer Swami, Shri Narasi Mehta, Goswami Tulsidas, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Udasin Acharya Shri Chandraji, Shri Ramanujacharya, Samarth Ramdas, Shri Nimbakacharya, Shri Ramanujacharya, Jagat Guru Shankaracharya, Shri Madhvacharya, Shri Vallabhacharya, Guru Nanak, Shri Sai Baba, Swami Vivekanand, Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Maharshi Arvind, Ramkrishna Param Hans, Shri Maa Sharada, Shri Rakshan, Shri Hirjibapa, Maharshi Valmiki, Saint Jhule Lal and Abdul Rahim Khan.

More great saints from religions like Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism are featured in Sant Mandir, on the fourth floor. The history and beauty of various provinces of India can be seen in the assembly hall, on the fifth floor. The sixth floor showcases the various forms of Goddess Shakti like Jagadamba of Gujarat, Meenaxi of South India, Ved Mata Gayatri and Mata Saraswati. The seventh floor is devoted to the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. It displays avatars like Dattatreya, Shrinathaji, Shri Ranchhod Raiji, Sita-Ram, Laxmi Narayan, Radha-Krishna, Venkateshwar Balaji Shri Akshar Purushottam, and Vitthal-Rukmini. The top floor has a shrine of the Lord Shiva. One can see the panoramic view of Himalayas, Hardwar and Sapt Sarovar from here.

The Bharat Mata Temple has published many religious and spiritual titles in Marathi, Hindi and Gujarati. The audiovisual cassettes are also available. A visit to this place is really worth it to have a date with history and spirituality at one go.

Last Updated On: 2011/07/16