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Bharat Mata Mandir – A Temple of No Gods

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Bharat Mata Mandir, Varanasi (picture by Unnati Sharma)

Built before independence Bharat Mata temple is a unique instance of attribution to patriotism. Located in Mahatma Kashi Vidyapith Campus, the temple was constructed by an industrialist and Freedom Fighter Babu Shiv Prasad Gupta under the direction of chief architect Durga Prasad Khatri.

Inaugurated on October 25, 1936, by Mahatma Gandhi Bharat Mata Mandir is a tribute to every freedom fighter who actively participated in the formation of independent India.  The most interesting thing about this temple is that this temple does not have any statue or idols of god and goddess, it accommodates an undivided segment of an Indian map. Inspired by a map made on Vidhwa Ashram’s floor in Pune and elaborated maps of the British Museum.

Entrance of Bharat Mata Mandir (picture by Unnati Sharma)

This map portrays the dream of every freedom fighter who has witnessed the British era before India got its independence.  The dedication to the construction is remarkable. This extraordinary place has witnessed the hardship of the Indian Freedom struggle. It is a Legacy of Mahama Gandhi’s idea of ‘No Violence’. Bharat Mata Mandir is a symbol of the tranquility and magnificence journey of Independent India. 

In the center of the building, there is a demonstration of an undivided map of India consisting of Pakistan, Afghanistan along with Baluchistan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar prior known as Burma & Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka (picture by Unnati Sharma)

This map has a meticulous structure of around 450 mountain peaks, water bodies, vast plains, and plateaus carved out of marble along with the depth and scale of the geographical establishments marked on it. The peak of landmarks depicts the Mt. Everest & K2 Peaks and the Great Wall of China. The differences among the heights of numerous peaks are visible clearly. One inch covers almost 6.40 miles on the plain surface you can see the same proportion and height differences as it exists on earth from the window installed at the ground in the basement.  Small peaks even the smallest around the sub-continent in oceans can be seen with the help of a Pointed stick or a laser torch. 

The water bodies delineated in the map are filled with water and the land surfaces are adorned with flowers on every Republic and Independence Day. 20th century national Hindi poet Maithili Sharan Gupt, composed a poem on the inauguration of the Bharat Mata Mandir which is displayed on a board inside the building. There is an idol of Bharat Mata inspired by the famous painting of Abanindranath Tagore.

Bharat Mata painting inside the temple (picture by Unnati Sharma)

The 30 workers and 25 masons who were involved in the establishment of the temple have done a splendid job and their names are mentioned on a plaque at one of the corners of the building.

Best time to visit Bharat Mata Mandir

The best time to visit Bharat Mata Mandir is Republic Day and Independence Day. The stories and struggles of Independence are told on these national festivals. There is no visiting fee interested people can visit the temple between 9:30 am to 8:00 pm in any season.

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