The ancient city of Kashi is a city of temples. There are innumerable temples installed in the streets here. Why the temple itself, there are many mosques, churches and gurudwaras here, but apart from the crowds of these places of worship, a unique temple – Bharat Mata Ka Mandir is situated between the city’s English Line and Sigra Crossroads.
Established in the year 1936, this temple has become a ‘temple of reverence’ for innumerable Indians of various religions due to its specialties. The Indians, buried under the British, conceived this grand and unique temple and it was built by the wealthy Rashtravratna Shivprasad Gupta of Kashi at a cost of about 10 lakh rupees in those days .
The help that the Guptas gave to the people fighting for freedom in the freedom struggle is unforgettable. In those days, the British did not like to listen to the discussion of the patriotism of the Indians. It was then a matter of risk to erect such a grand memorial of patriotism and charity, which became the center of the freedom struggle, but regardless of anything, Gupta kept assisting the revolutionaries in many things from the publication of ‘Ranbheri’ till the end. .
He had a desire to build such a temple in which people of all religions could come and go unhindered. He wanted that the map of India should be inscribed on every Indian’s heart as an adorable mother and the whole nation should be united in one sutra.
Gupta got the inspiration for the construction of this unique temple from the geography of Bharat Mata made of clay at Karve Ashram in Pune – ‘The conceived map of Bharat Mata originated in the heart by chance. In 1970, Vikram got the opportunity to go to Mumbai, returning from Karachi Congress session in winter. Went to Poona from there. There Mr. Dhodo went to see the widow’s labor of Keshav Karve.
A map of India was made on the ground in the ashram. Had it been of clay, but the mountains and rivers in it had become high and low, it looked very beautiful. Wished that one such map be made in Kashi also. It was only a rite, which would probably have disappeared within a few days, but coincidentally had to travel abroad after that.
It was a privilege to see many small and large maps of this type in the British Museum in London. This was also a coincidence, but the earlier rite became more serious, taking it back home. The desire to create a beautiful map of India was strong. Consulted with gurus and friends. After consultation and consideration, it was a matter of concern that if the map is of marble then it is better, because it will be more durable and more beautiful and more suitable for mother-fatherland. ‘
Kashi-resident Shilpi Durgaprasad ji was given the burden of engraving Bharat Mata on the marble and performed it with tireless hard work and ability. The foundation stone of the temple was established in the year 1975 (1918 AD) on the first day of Vasanti (Chaitra) Navratri after Gayatri Puraskar. Bapu inaugurated the temple in Vijayadashami year 1984 (1936).
At the inauguration of Bharat Mata Mandir , the words of the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi were- ‘There is no idol of any deity in this temple. Here is a map of India embossed on marble. I hope that this temple will take the form of a universal platform for people of all castes and faiths including all religions, Harijans, and will make a great contribution to increase the feelings of mutual religious unity, peace and love in this country. Inaugurating this pilgrimage, I am unable to express in my words the feelings that are rising in my mind.
In an old article, throwing light on the characteristics of this temple, Guptaji himself gave the description of the temple in this way –
This beautiful landscape of Bharat Mata Temple is made of marble. Its magnitude is length and width 31 feet 2 inches and 30 feet 2 inches. In making it, seven hundred and fifty pieces of 11-11 inches and some more small pieces have been used. Keeping in view the natural elevation of the land of India, etc., these pieces have been cut and presented with great care and precision. The map shows all the land from the Pamir mountain peaks in the north to Duvundur Tuduv (Dundra), the southern end of Sinhala Island in the south, and the Moulmine and China’s famous ancient wall Kahakaha in the east to Herat in the west.
Along with the year of India, most of its neighboring territories – Afghanistan, Balochistan, Bhot (Tibet), Brahmadesh (Varma), Sinhala (Lanka) and Malaya Peninsula are also shown.
After describing this map in detail, Gupta wrote – ‘The artist and craftsman have not raised any point on their part in making the map a true statue of Bharatbhoomi’.
A huge temple has been built in the picturesque garden for this statue of Bharat Mata, where the seas bordering the Indian border are also shown, with more or less depth. There are many inscriptions on marble in this temple. The entire ‘Vande Mataram’ song is inscribed on the main gate.
The inscriptions of the temple also bear the name of a small artisan, but it is astonishing that Shivprasad Gupta did not mention his name anywhere. In the main square pavilion in the center of the temple, the marble image of Bharat Mata’s Makrana marble is so large that the visitors can stand on the side of the railing and understand the nuances of the map.
Old people told that Gupta wanted to put binoculars in the temple so that people could easily see the specifics of the map. However, binoculars were not installed here, but at least there should be a good arrangement of light. In the absence of this, the temple has to be closed as soon as the evening is around. The map of Bharat Maa built around the inner walls of the two-storey temple is now clouded. While this map is very important for the philosophy and study of different forms of the land of India. They need conservation and enhancement.
Many paintings depicting the history of scripts in the temple are inscribed on the wall which are slowly being erased. In the unique Bharat Mata temple in Kashi, in the square pavilion instead of the sanctum sanctorum, Bharat Mata Ka Makrana has a huge landscape made of marble. She is the goddess of the temple.
After the construction of this temple, Guptaji wrote, ‘A man of dignity gets inspired by some emotion and does something. Only the succeeding generations experience its usefulness. Nevertheless, it can be said that from the point of view of public education, it will be useful for scholars who are exploring the landscape and Indian culture.
When the Indian tourists come to this inspiring Bharat Mata temple, they do not miss to come in emotion and proclaim ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. This unique worship place of the nation ‘Bharat Mata Mandir’ is a unique center and symbol of nationalism’s inspiration. Bharat Mata Temple remains a center of attraction for domestic and foreign tourists today.
– Amitanshu Pathak (Varanasi)