KASHI TAMIL SANGAMAM
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Context: The month-long Kashi Tamil Sangamam, which begins in Varanasi, will celebrate the many aspects of the historical and civilisational connection between India’s North and South. Some 2,400 people from Tamil Nadu will be taken to Varanasi in groups for visits that will last eight days and will include, besides an immersive local experience, trips to Ayodhya and Prayagraj.
- The broader objective is to bring the two knowledge and cultural traditions (of the North and South) closer, create an understanding of our shared heritage and deepen the people-to-people bond between the regions.
- This is in sync with the National Education Policy, 2020 which emphasises “on nurturing a generation that is modern and in sync with the 21st-century mindset, while being rooted in the Indian culture and ethos
- BHU and IIT-Madras are knowledge partners for the event, and the Ministries of Culture, Tourism, Railways, Textiles and Food Processing have been roped in as stakeholders, besides the government of Uttar Pradesh and the Varanasi administration.
- The connection between the two centres of knowledge (Kashi and Kanchi) is evident in the similar themes in literature, and the presence of the name Kashi in every village in Tamil Nadu.
- Besides the Kasi Viswanathar temple in Tenkasi, there are hundreds of Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu that bear the name of Kashi.
- People from Rameswaram would take a dip in the Koti teertha (in the temple) before visiting Kashi for darshan; and they would bring back (Ganga) water from Kashi for abhiseka at the temple in Rameswaram. Only this would complete their pilgrimage at a time when it took six months to travel between Kashi and Rameswaram
- There was also the connection between the traders dealing in silk saris and textiles from Bananas and Kanchipuram, and architectural, culinary, and other kinds of connections.