The number of temples of Bharat Mata in India are numbered and all are relatively new. But they have deep roots in Indian history and culture.
The earliest reference to the word Bharati is found in the Apri Sukta of the Rigveda where she has been called Vagdevi, the goddess of speech. Also, Bharat dynasty has also been mentioned, which was led by Emperor Bharat.
In the Mahabharata, this earth has been called Bharatavarsha.
There was also a Chandravanshi Kuru king named Raja Bharata.
In the Vishnu Purana, the expansion of India is described from the seas to the north and from the Himalayas to the south. According to Vishnu Purana, India is the land where the children of Bharata live.
Contemporary Emergence of Mother India
Bharat Mata came into the public mind when the freedom movement started in India. You all must have heard the song ‘Vande Mataram’ composed by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee. The song became part of the famous novel ‘Anand Math’ written by him in 1762, which is a story set against the backdrop of the famine that came to Bengal. The powerful character of Mother India is introduced in this story.
The first portrait of Bharat Mata was painted by painter Avanindranath Tagore in 1905, in which a living imagination of Mother India was first presented. In that picture, Bharat Mata was depicted as a four-armed stripe goddess wearing saffron colored saree. In the upper two hands, he is holding a piece of scripture and white cloth. Paddy harvesting and Akshamala are caught in the lower two hands. That is, they have held the essence of human life in their four hands, education, initiation, food and clothing.
You will recall that at that time the English government had divided Bengal. Many artists like Tagore had strongly opposed this partition with their own style. Many nationalists discussed this picture in such a way that Mother India is requesting her sons to free them. Sister Nivedita was so impressed with this picture that she had expressed her desire to get millions of copies of that picture distributed in every house from Kedarnath to Kanyakumari.
Over time, many artists made several versions of this painting. The original portrait of Bharat Mata is now on display at the Victoria Memorial Hall Museum in Kolkata.
Bharat Mata Temple of Varanasi
The temple of Bharat Mata located in the complex of Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth in Varanasi is special in many dimensions. Like a traditional temple, it is not a typical temple which is usually dedicated to a deity.
This temple celebrates unbroken India in the same way as mentioned in our ancient scriptures. Politically, countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka should also be included in this united India. It celebrates the concept of India and realizes the imagination of Mother Bharati.
Map of india
An elaborate man portrait of India has been created using the marble of Makrana. The topography of the Earth i.e. topography is clearly mapped at a proportional level of 1 inch: 4.7 miles. Therefore, when you look at different mountain ranges, you will find them in the same proportion in which they are sitting on this earth. More than 450 mountain peaks have been inscribed on the map. Also, all the water sources, rivers, seas, plateaus and wide plains are also shown. On the one hand, the minimum islands within the sea are also clearly visible, on the other hand the largest mountain peaks like Sagarmatha and k2 are also clearly marked. If there is nothing in this value picture, it is a man-made change, whether it is political boundaries or any structural change.
I was told that during the celebrations of Independence Day and Republic Day, water is filled in all its water sources and the map is decorated with flowers. There are pillared corridors around this map, in which you can see the map from all directions by walking 360 degrees. Looking closely, you will not remain without appreciating its subtle elements.
According to the comment of Babu Shiv Prasad Gupta, inscribed on the notice board of the temple, he got the inspiration to build this temple from a widow’s ashram in Poona where he saw one such map painted on the earth. Then he decided to prepare a detailed map of India on a rock. His determination was further strengthened when he went to London and saw many such detailed maps in the British Museum. After returning from there, he discussed with many people about his dream of building such a temple. He entrusted this responsibility to Durga Prasad Khatri. Before the temple was opened to the public, 28 lakh rotations of Gayatri Mantra were done in the temple.
In 1936, Mahatma Gandhi formally inaugurated this temple by giving Purnahuti in this yajna organized in the temple. The temple boards were opened to the public amid chanting of Vedas.
Babu Shiv Prasad Gupta
The entire fund for the construction of this temple was managed by industrialist and freedom fighter Babu Shiv Prasad Gupta. His family still maintains the temple. It is those Guptas who established the Kashi Vidyapeeth and did many social welfare works. The names of the principal architect of the temple, Durga Prasad and his associates are engraved on the temple’s reefs.
When I visited the temple a few years ago, no one was present there. As far as I understand, virtually no rituals are being followed there. You can freely move around and see the topography of the Indian soil that nourishes us.
Yes, there is a statue of Bharat Mata which is inspired by the famous portrait of Bharat Mata painted by Avanindranath Tagore.
The famous poet of the Hindi language, the nation poet Maithilisharan Gupta, composed a poem in honor of this temple and dedicated it. That poem is-
Bharat Mata Temple
Parity dialogue where
Everyone’s Shiva Kalyan is here
All the offerings here.
This poem is inscribed in the temple premises. You can read the full poem here.
Another feature of this temple is that it was built between 1918 and 1928, before the independence of India. That is, before the unfortunate partition of India!
Bharat Mata Temple of Haridwar
Unlike Bharat Mata Temple of Varanasi, Bharat Mata Temple of Haridwar is full of devotees and tourists. This place is included in the tour list of most tourists and devotees visiting Haridwar.
This temple was built by Swami Satyamitrananda Giri in 1983 and it was inaugurated by Indira Gandhi. ८ This floor high structure may be one of the highest buildings of Haridwar. This is the best place for observing various branches of Ganga flowing through this Haridwar city, known as Gangadwar. You can also see the boundaries of the Rajaji National Park which surrounds the Ganges.
4th floor of the temple
Each of the four floors of the temple is dedicated to a different subject. The ground floor of the structure is dedicated to the mother. A grand statue of Mother is installed here. Looking at them, I started moving forward silently. Even if we wanted to move quickly, it was not possible because huge crowds of tourists and spectators were slowly crawling ahead of the room in a row.
- The first floor of the temple is called the Shur temple. It is dedicated to the great heroes of India, including many freedom fighters.
- The second floor of the temple is the Mother Temple which is dedicated to women power. There are images of many women warriors like Lakshmibai and saints like Veeranganas and Mirabai.
- The third floor is known as Sant Mandir which is dedicated to the saints of India.
- The fourth floor is dedicated to various religions practiced in India, whose followers live in harmony among themselves.
- The fifth floor is dedicated to the Goddess or Shakti who is the divine woman of India.
- The sixth floor is dedicated to Vishnu. His various avatars are displayed here.
- The seventh floor is dedicated to Lord Shiva as the presiding deity of the temple.
Briefly understood, this temple starts from Bharat Mata and leads you silently up a steep corridor and finally reaches Lord Shiva. After that you come back in the same way.
This concept of the temple brought the different dimensions of the country together in a backdrop to me. Be it its religious spine or its freedom fighters, its saints or its different beliefs, the best warriors or the best heroes. But it seemed to me that the idols and paintings of this place could be executed better than this. India is a country of various art forms of classical and folk style. I did not seem to reflect the entire diversity. There were many empty reefs on which the stories of these great personalities can be displayed.
Nevertheless, you must come here to give a glimpse to its concept. I believe you will be blissful. Four bliss will set your bliss The unseen landscape around the temple’s roof visible.
Bharat Mata Temple of Kanyakumari
Many of you readers may have read my Yatra edition on Kanyakumari sightseeing. There I mentioned the Vivekananda Center. There is also a temple of Bharat Mata in the same complex.
There are 5 statues of mothers around the statue of Swami Vivekananda in that temple. They are:
- Parvati – Mother of Lord Ganesha and Karthik
- Shakuntala – Mother of Emperor India
- Jijabai – Mother of Shivaji Maharaj
- Sharda Devi – Guru Mata of Swami Vivekananda
- Mata Amritanandamayi – A saint of the present times who inaugurated this temple in 2014
Here is a 12 feet high golden idol of Bharat Mata with a flag in her left hand and right hand raised in Abhaya Mudra. A golden lion standing behind his supernatural form stands behind him, indicating that Mother Goddess is the incarnation of Durga.
Bharat Mata Temple of Ujjain
This is the latest temple in the temples of Bharat Mata which was built by Madhav Seva Nyas and it was inaugurated in 2014 itself. Situated near the famous Mahakaleshwar temple of Ujjain, this 3 floor temple has a huge 18 feet statue engraved in the rock of Mother. There are images of Navadurga around them. The temple complex also has an auditorium, a library, a meditation and yoga room and a meeting hall.
Temple of Devagiri or Daulatabad fort
11th located near Aurangabad city of Maharashtra. The Devagiri fort of the century was built by the Yadav kings. This fort over time saw many empires and many changes that happened to them. Today, the temple of Bharat Mata has been built in place of an ancient temple in its premises. It is difficult to estimate the age of the original temple. Looking at the pillars standing around the complex, this temple appears to be very ancient. In it, the statue of Mother India would have been established some time ago.
Graffiti of shekhawati
There is a huge mural of Bharat Mata in a Shekhawati mansion in Mandawa.
If you know about any other temple of Bharat Mata located in India or any region of the world, which I have not mentioned here, then you are requested to give me information about them. For this, you can use the following comment section.
We also want to know which of the above temples have you visited?
Translation: Madhumita Tamhane