Bharat Mata Mandir of Varanasi is suddenly being talked about,Stories related to Bharat Mata Mandir were being shared. But what makes the Bharat Mata Mandir of Varanasi so special?
The temple is not a new construction in Varanasi, which has been a religious pilgrim’s favourite in northern India. The temple is considered unique for its display of the map of Undivided India on marble. The map of Undivided India has nothing to do with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) views of Akhand Bharat or with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election from the Lok Sabha constituency in 2014.
The Bharat Mata Mandir is located in the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth campus. The temple was constructed by Babu Shiv Prasad Gupta in pre-Independence India at a time when Mahatma Gandhi was taking charge of national movement for freedom from British colonial rulers. The Gupta family still takes care of the building.
Construction of Bharat Mata Mandir began in 1918 and completed in 1924. Mahatma Gandhi inaugurated the Bharat Mata Mandir in Varanasi on October 25 in 1936. Twentieth century Hindi poet Maithili Sharan Gupt, fondly called Rashtra Kavi (national poet) composed a poem on the inauguration of the temple which is also put up on a board in the building.
The Bharat Mata Mandir displays a map of Undivided India in the centre of the building showing Afghanistan, Pakistan including Balochistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar as Burma and Sri Lanka as Ceylone marble brought from Makrana (now in Pakistan).
The map has a detailed layout of 450 mountain ranges and peaks, vast plains, water bodies, rivers, oceans and plateaux. The map also shows the scale and depth of the geographical entities mentioned on it.
The pick of the landmarks on the map inside Bharat Mata Mandir are Mt Everest and K2 peaks, and also the Great Wall of China. Small pecks in the oceans around the sub-continent form even the smallest of islands, which can be seen with the help of a laser torch.
The water bodies depicted in the map are filled with water and the land areas are decorated with flowers on the Republic Day and the Independence Day,
The Bharat Mata Mandir was constructed under the guidance of Durga Prasad Khatri. It bears the names of 30 workers and 25 masons who were engaged in construction of the temple. Their names are mentioned on the plaque in one corner of the building.
One inch of the area in the map covers 6.40 miles on land and from a window installed at the ground level in the basement, the difference among the heights of the various peaks is clearly visible.