There are many Holy Places in Varanasi but the Bharat Mata Temple is one with a difference. Unlike the other temples it does not enshrine any particular God or Goddess revered by religious followers. It is a temple dedicated to Bharat Mata or Mother India. She is the human manifestation of the Indian nation and is venerated by all Indians irrespective of their caste, creed or color.
History of the Bharat Mata Temple, Varanasi
Babu Shiv Prasad Gupta and Shri Durga Prasad Khatri are credited with the construction of the Bharat Mata Temple, the former was a nationalist leader and the latter a reputed numismatist and antiquarian. It struck them that Benaras or Kashi (the other two names by which Varanasi is known) is home to many temples and mosques. But there is no such edifice in this cultural capital of the country which would stand as a fine symbol of the spirit of nationalism and secularism. So they hit upon this novel idea of a temple where the country would be worshipped, where there would be no customary Gods and Goddesses and which would have no religious association.
The Bharat Mata Temple was therefore constructed and in the year 1936. It was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation.
Description of the Bharat Mata Temple, Varanasi
Very interestingly the Bharat Mata Temple does not have a statue of Bharat Mata. Out here there is a relief map of the country carved in white marble brought from Makrana. The temple was constructed prior to independence and consequently even before the sad partition of the country, so the map that is kept here depicts undivided India. The plains, mountains and oceans are all marked with a lot of precision. Both with regards to the latitude as well as the longitude, the map is absolutely perfect in scale. Anyone is sure to be impressed on seeing it.
The uniqueness of the Bharat Mata Temple does not just end here. The thoughts that governed its construction design are also unique. It stands on five distinct pillars and each of these pillars symbolizes earth, wind, fire, water and sky, the five basic elements of creation respectively. All the pillars finally converge at the top yet again signifying that every element finally merges with the supreme.
Located within the campus of the Kashi Vidyapeeth Campus, the Bharat Mata Temple in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh is open from 9.30 A.M. in the morning to 8.00 P.M. in the evening. Make sure you drop in for a visit.