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31 Jul 2018

'Bharat Mata Mandir', a unique temple with marble-map of undivided-India

This Varanasi temple has a marble-map of undivided-India

In the ancient city of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, which draws pilgrims from all over the world, stands a unique "Bharat Mata Mandir", a temple with a marble map of undivided India.

The temple, which often gets missed by the teeming pilgrims thronging Varanasi is, however, a favorite among foreign tourists who are frequent visitors to the city regarded as a spiritual capital of India.

In context

This Varanasi temple has a marble-map of undivided-India

Mahatma Gandhi inaugurated the temple in 1936

Located in the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth campus in Varanasi, the temple was constructed by Babu Shiv Prasad Gupta between 1918 and 1924 and was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi on October 25, 1936.

Undivided India

Map has a detailed layout of 450 geographical bodies

In the center of the temple's building, there is a map of undivided India comprising Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma (now Myanmar), and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) on makrana marble.

It has the detailed layout of 450 geographical bodies such as mountain ranges, peaks, plains, and water bodies, among others, which form this part of the world, with the geographical bodies' measurements mentioned alongside.

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Water-bodies in map filled with water on R-Day, Independence Day

One could see the Mt. Everest, K2 peaks, the Great Wall of China, small pecks in the oceans around the sub-continent, even the smallest of islands on the map with the help of a laser-torch.

On the Republic Day and the Independence Day, water-bodies depicted in the map are filled with water and the land areas are decorated with flowers, caretaker Raju Singh said.

Names of workers who built the temple carved on plaque

The unique temple was constructed under the guidance of Durga Prasad Khatri by 30 workers and 25 masons and their names are mentioned on the plaque in one corner of the building.


One inch of map's area covers 6.40 miles on land

One inch of the map's area 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.

Rashtra Kavi Maithili Sharan Gupt, a renowned modern Hindi poet, wrote a poem on the inauguration of the temple which is also put up on a board in the building.


Govt has earmarked funds for restoration of temple

Though Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of PM Narendra Modi, has been taken up under the Smart City project with a number of schemes, Rs. 1.33 crore has been sanctioned under the National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) yojna when UP CM Yogi Adityanath visited Varanasi on January 4.

A certain amount of money is earmarked for beautification work around the building.

Building is looked after by Gupta's family

"There is an urgent need of restoration work inside the building where there are rare-maps of India during various rulers in history for which INTACH experts had also visited it some time ago," Singh said. The building is presently being looked after by Gupta's family.

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