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With the inauguration of Kashi Vishwanath corridor in Varanasi on December 13, the whole of Uttar Pradesh will be lit up similar to Diwali-like celebrations. This year the people of the state will invoke Lord Shiva in their homes by lighting lamps on the occasion of the inauguration of Kashi Vishwanath corridor, the highest revered shrine of Hindu faith. Along with this, a laser show and fireworks will light up all temples, streets, 'crossroads' and other public places in Varanasi.
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The planners will celebrate the festival of 'Deepotsav' on the lines of the 'Grand Kashi, Divya Kashi' in the whole of Uttar Pradesh. For this every BJP worker will light a lamp in the village, town and city. The BJP believes that this will create a festive atmosphere with ideological commitment which will send out the message of strong cultural ethos.
After the inauguration on December 13 in the evening, the Prime Minister will take a tour of the Ganga river in a boat and perform the 'Ganga aarti'. During this tour, the Chief Ministers of various BJP-ruled states will also be present. The Prime Minister will hold talks with the Chief Ministers and public representatives the very next day. After this, Modi will visit the Swarved temple, Umrah, and a CNG plant in Shahanshahpur and leave for Delhi on December 14 in the afternoon.
Also Read : The Varanasi Hot Air Balloon Festival
On the day of the inauguration of Kashi Vishwanath corridor, all boats will be decorated with colorful lights which will be the main centre of attraction. An appeal has been made by the state administration to all the people to light lamps in their homes on the lines of Diwali celebrations. The people have been instructed to keep the streets and their locality clean and cooperate in the public cleanliness drive.
Diyas will be lit in every house, every temple, streets and BJP offices in the state. Unsplash
If political experts are to be believed, amid the ongoing Ram temple construction in Ayodhya, the BJP is once again trying to assert power through its ideological plank of Hindutva and its cultural agenda, while raising issues like building of a temple in Mathura.
A senior BJP leader involved in formulating the election strategy in Uttar Pradesh and working closely with the party's central leadership said that once again the party is going to celebrate Deepotsav on December 13.
Several BJP workers have been asked to make the occasion a grand success. BJP Kashi regional President, Mahesh Chandra Srivastava said, "On December 13, there will be a festive atmosphere in the state. Diyas will be lit in every house, every temple, streets and BJP offices in the state. We are going to celebrate a grand festival."
Kashi Vishwanath Dham, the work of which is in final stages, is the dream project of Prime Minister Modi. The corridor is now gleaming with lights. After the launch of the corridor, Chalo Kashi month' will also begin under which many programmes will be organised here.
After the inauguration on December 13 in the evening, the Prime Minister will take a tour of the Ganga river in a boat and perform the 'Ganga aarti'.Unsplash
According to the information received from the state government, a symbol of nationalism will be visible between Ganga and Lord Vishwanath temple which will give a new identity to Kashi. Idols of Rani Ahilyabai, Mother India (Bharat Mata), Kartikeya and Adi Shankaracharya will be installed in the Dham.
Kashi Vishwanath Dham is spread over an area of 54,000 square metre. The construction work of the Dham is being completed in two phases. The work of the first phase is in the final stage which includes construction of Mandir Chowk, Varanasi city gallery, museum, multipurpose auditorium, hall, devotee facilitation centres, public facility, spiritual house, Godoulia gate, 'Bhogshala', shelter for priests and sewadars, spiritual book palace, among others.
The statue of Mother India, a symbol of nationality, will also be seen between the Lord's court and the sacred Ganga. The idol of Kartikeya and Adi Shankaracharya will be installed in the grand courtyard of Kashi Vishwanath Dham. The statue of Queen Ahilyabai, who renovated the Kashi Vishwanath temple in 1669 will also be installed here. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : Uttar Pradesh, diwali, Kashi Vishwanath, Varanasi, December, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, ganga, BJP, corridor, nationalism, people.)
By Olivia Sarkar
For most, Kaashi is the seat of the gods, one sees colourful throngs of pilgrims, a vast sacred-scape, and life-ending climactic ceremonies at the undulating ganga while navigating its crowded streets, which unfold like a broadway production and a costume drama all at once. Many seekers, literary personalities, old world flaneurs, and residents flock to the ghats at Varanasi to take their redemptive holy plunge; with its antique charm, it has served as a continual muse.
In its attempt to enchant its apostles and acolytes with another perspective, on the occasion of Dev Deepawali, the city presented another distinct perspective for travellers to enjoy its mystic appeal and floating lights on its river. The Uttar Pradesh Tourism organised the Varanasi Hot Air Balloon Festival, for visitors to enjoy the joyous celebration of gods celebrating Diwali, and see the city in all its glory from an aerial view.
The Festival adds this experiential repertory, in addition to its landlocked beauties. | File
The Festival adds this experiential repertory, in addition to its landlocked beauties - temples, old paths, craft traditions, gastronomic cornucopia, and unravelling legends in every nook and corner. This new offering, according to Mukesh Kumar Meshram, Principal Secretary, Culture and Tourism, adds another experience for explorers and will position Varanasi as a top destination for many premium and high-value travellers from around the world. He also stated that the post Covid tourism will focus on creating authentic experiences and traditions into modern packaging for long-term tourism sustainability.
On the occasion, Samit Garg, Founder and CEO of E-factor Entertainment who hosted the event said that this new offering adds an authentic and high-value offering for the city's 'living heritage,' and that the city's breath-taking terrain and bird's eye view match perfectly in splendour with its wonderfully preserved wonders on the ground. He also stated that New Age travellers are looking for a new type of tourism that is not based on a single product but rather on a succession of fresh and transforming 'experiences.' There is a growing desire for 'exploratory and experience travel' over traditional leisure activities such as visiting tourist attractions. The Varanasi Hot Air Balloon Festival, which runs from November 17 to 19, is intended to usher in a new era in Uttar Pradesh tourism for well-heeled global visitors.
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Varanasi, hot air balloon, festival, diwali, tourists
The rumours of Vicky Kaushal dating Katrina Kaif have been doing the rounds for quite some time. Both the actors have been denying the stories, but now, it looks like the air will be cleared once and all, for the good of both. Sources close to the actors have said that the two had a very private 'roka' ceremony during Diwali. It took place at the home of filmmaker Kabir Khan. Katrina considers Kabir to be like her brother, which may be the reason why she chose to have the ceremony at his place in a close-knit affair that did not extend beyond immediate members of the two families.
Katrina is reported to have been joined by her mother Suzanne Turquoette and sister Isabelle Kaif, Vicky's side was completed by his mother Veena Kaushal, his father, the renowned action director Sham Kaushal, and the actor's brother Sunny. Diwali being an auspicious day, the two families decided to make the most of the occasion by organising the ceremony, with Kabir and his wife Mini Mathur playing the hosts. The big buzz now is that the actors will tie the knot in Rajasthan later this December, but they haven't sent out any invites, nor made any phone calls to friends. On the work front, Katrina will resume shooting for 'Tiger 3' and Vicky will start working on the Sam Maneckshaw biopic 'Sam Bahadur'. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Vicky Kaushal, Katrina Kaif, actors, diwali, roka, ceremony
As the country slowly steps towards some form of normalcy amidst the pandemic, this Diwali, non-governmental organization HelpAge India working for disadvantaged elders, celebrates the festival of lights with a message of hope and togetherness through its campaign and film, 'Andhero Se Roshini Tak. In a marathon celebration, HelpAge marks the festival across 100 old age homes across the country, bringing happiness, hope and joy to senior citizens, many of who were suffering from isolation, loneliness and a sense of abandonment during the pandemic. The campaign aims to bring them back into the fold and give them a ray of hope and support them.
The campaign highlights the impact of the pandemic on India's elders vis a vis their health, livelihood and the pervading sense of loneliness and feeling of being forgotten by their own, as social distancing, led to social isolation for many of our elders who were left to fend for themselves. According to a survey done by HelpAge earlier this year, 36 percent elders at home in India 'were just waiting for the phone to ring'. During the first lockdown, 65 percent of elders lost their only source of livelihood, leaving them with no resources for medicines and no one to reach out to.
The core campaign message urges the younger generation and society at large, to bring hope, light and 'Roshini' back into the lives of elders. It encourages bringing elders back into the family fold and pushes for elder inclusion. A time to give back and spread the love, and reach out to those elders who have no one to call their own and support them.
"Diwali is a time synonymous with hope, positivity and togetherness. The pandemic took a heavy toll on the lives of our elderly, particularly on the disadvantaged. Identified as the most vulnerable, many faced challenges at multiple levels, from loss of livelihood to having no money, no support and were left with a deep sense of isolation and constant anxiety. For those living alone, it was even worse. We hope through this campaign #AndheroSeRoshiniTak we can sensitize people to urgently come forward and celebrate this festival in its truest sense, by sharing the light and love with those who need it most. It is our responsibility to bring light into their lives, it's time to give back." said Rohit Prasad, Chief Executive Officer, HelpAge India.
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: HelpAge, India, light, diwali, pandemic, marathon, campaign, enlighten, life, elders