Special Feature: Emerging Rashtriya Teerth
Average 4,000 national and international tourists visit Udaipur everyday. They return after seeing some monuments. But now they are sure to return with a positive energy—the energy to contribute in nation building and join any of the social activity in their vicnity. Pratap Gaurav Kendra, a new tourist spot coming up at Tiger Hill in the city is going to change both the mindset and thinking of the tourists.
-The monument of ancient heritage and medieval period bravery set to reshape the tourist map of Bharat for both domestic and foreign tourists.
-A befitting tribute to national heroes generating reverence to country’s rich history and extraordinary achievements in various spheres.
-Just 9 km from Udaipur Railway Station, the mega project is proposed to be inaugurated by RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat after Deepavali.
-100 crore project completely conceived and developed by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh workers.
– Arrangements to manage 1,000 tourists at a time.
As conspired by Macaulay in 1835, majority of the population in India, especially English educated, is today alienated from their roots and they feel India has nothing to show as her own achievement of the past. This inferiority complex basically blocked our progress for decades. Today when the country is gearing up to lead the world, there is dire need that this inferiority complex is eradicated and the nation, especially the young generation, is made aware of the glorious past.
Projects to be inaugurated under first phase
The projects to be inaugurated under first phase include Bharat Mata Mandir, Bharat Darshan Gaurav Deergha, four art galleries with more than 300 paintings, nine mechanised galleries, water pond, cloak room, 57 feet statue of Maharana Pratap, marvelous statue of his horse Chetak, Meerabai and three documentaries—Ye Gaatha Hai Mewar ki, Vandemataram, and Meditation for Nation. Apart from this a cafeteria, market, drinking water, parking, etc are also ready. Three exclusive theaters have been built to show the documentaries. Nine temples of Rajasthan at Bhakti Dhaam will be finished in second phase. For electricity, solar panels have been installed and there are efforts to use maximum solar power. n
A successful experiment on this front has been conducted in Udaipur city of Rajasthan in the form of Pratap Gaurav Kendra. Coming up at 25 ‘bihga’ land on Tiger Hill under the banner of Veer Shiromani Maharana Pratap Samiti, the 100 crore project is ready to showcase glorious past of the nation in the language and medium that the most people understand—audio-visual, 3D presentations, live mechanised models, water show, art galleries, etc.
Normally, 4,000 people from across the world visit Udaipur everyday. No wonder if this mega project reshapes the tourist map of the country in coming days and becomes the most favoured tourist destination for both the domestic and foreign tourists. The project has state-of-the-art infrastructure to engage tourists for at least three to four hours.
Medication for Nation
The ‘pilgrimage’ to Pratap Gaurav Kendra completes with a 10 minute show, named as Meditation for Nation. Top of the hall is a tall metal statue of Bharatmata generating patriotic vibrations. In the hall, the visitors are first reminded of what they witnessed in the Kendra and how they can use the positive energy generated within them for betterment of the society. They are administered an oath to join any of the nation building activity in their respective areas. This is the most touching and motivational part of the journey to this Teerth.
The prime attraction of the project is 57 feet high metal statue of Maharana Pratap in a sitting posture. It is a tribute to the great warrior, who underwent 23 years exile, longest ever. The project gives bit by bit information armed with solid facts explaining that India was a world leader in many fields and how it was plundered by the invaders and how its boundaries reduced. To showcase the entire history, mainly three movies have specially been produced.
Pratap Gaurav Kendra is a monument of our ancient heritage as well as the medieval period bravery. His struggle and devotion for championing the Independence of India is a role model for youth even today. Pratap is an icon not only in the country but also outside India. He is role model for the people fighting for freedom. That is why this project has been named as Pratap Gaurav Kendra. It portrays prominently three things—ancient heritage, richness of our culture and the ‘bhakti’ of Meerabai. It displays all these things through attractive mechanised models with sound and vision in the background. At the same time it inspires the youth to devote their time and energy on nation building. Pratap Gaurav Kendra has multifarious objectives. Particularly the location of the Kendra is on the route leading to various places of tourist interest. Therefore, we feel a large number of people will pour in there and will get exposer to the country’s rich culture, heritage, valour and the inspiring history of the nation.
First movie is Ye Gaatha Hai Mewar Ki. The 30 minute documentary perfectly acquaints the audience with glorious history of Mewar, how every particle of the land tells the story of bravery, valour and how it has been a pilgrimage centre for the freedom fighters during the freedom movement. The film also depicts how Mewar rulers played a significant role in protecting the country and its culture from Arab and Mughal invasion. Bappa Rawal, the founder of Mewar Dynasty, then went up to Iran and Afghanistan to defeat the Arab invaders.
The jewels of Mewar
The jewels of Mewar who cannot be forgotten include Pannadhai, Hadi Rani, Rani Karmawati, Koshithal Rani, Barbadi Devi, Kirandevi, Meerabai, Jhala Ajja, Mehta Mojiram, Dodia Matesi, Kallaji Rathore, Ashashah Devpura, Chundaji, Jhala Mansingh, Bilu-Deva Bheel, Punja Bheel, Ramshah Tanwar, Maharaja Baghsingh, Jaimal Patta, Gora-Badal, Hakimkhan Suri, Mansingh Devra, Veer Durgadas, Balluji, Naruji Barhat, Bhamashah. The list has many other names. The jouhar by 16,000 Rajput women under the leadership of Padmawati also cannot be forgotten.
The prime motivation behind the project is veteran Sangh Pracharak Shri Sohan Singh who wanted that Maharana Pratap should be the icon for youth. To materialise his vision, Veer Shiromani Maharana Pratap Samiti was formed in 2002 and a piece of 25 ‘bigha’ land was purchased in 2007. Then on August 18, 2008 the then RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Mohan Bhagwat laid the foundation stone for the project. The money for the project was also contributed by Sangh swayamsevaks. The entire project is expected to cost about Rs 100 crore. About 20 crore have already been spent on the first phase.
People coming here will see the rich ancient heritage with the help of modern instruments. They will return with a positive outlook and energy to contribute to development of the country. That is why we have not called it a Tourist Spot but a ‘Rashtriya Teerth’.
— Omprakash, member, Veer Shiromani Maharana Pratap Samiti
“People coming here will see the rich ancient heritage with the help of modern instruments. They will return with a positive outlook and energy to contribute to development of the country. That is why we have not called it a Tourist Spot but a ‘Rashtriya Teerth’,” says Shri Omprakash, member of Veer Shiromani Maharana Pratap Samiti.
The second movie, Vandemataram, depicts the glorious history of entire Bharat. It provides information about extraordinary works done by Indians in various fields like art, health, warfare, mathematics, science, etc. The movie also exhorts the audience how the boundaries of the nation were reduced and how their places of reverence were ruined by the invaders.
The third major attraction at the project is ‘Bharat Gaurav Darshan Deergha’, which showcases the geographical and cultural glory from ancient to present day Bharat. It highlights Takshashila, where students from world over used to come for study. Sitting in one room one can visualise the prominent pilgrimage places, prominent rivers, holy cities, Sapta Puris, temples, and understand the significance of those places. The presentation through light and sound makes it alive. Apart from educating the people about glorious past it also exhorts them to think deeply why many of our sacred places like Kailash Mansarovar are in the clutches of China.
Those who have seen Akshardham in Delhi or Gandhinagar may find some similarities with this project. While the prime focus at Akshardham is Bhagwan Swami Narayan, the Pratap Gaurav Kendra is fully dedicated to the glorious past of the country. It has been built keeping multiple tasks in mind.
“About six months back a young Sanyasi visited here. He just saw one movie. After watching the movie he said: I am a Sanyasi for 10 years. But due to some reasons I had decided to return back in family life. But this film changed my mindset and I think my nation needs me more than the family,” says Shri Omprakash. It proves that the objective for which the project has been started is getting fulfilled. Recently, Major Gen. GD Bakshi visited the project. He was so much impressed with the statue of Bharatmata that he suggested that lockets of this statue should be in the neck of all youth. The project reshapes one’s mission in life.
Ye Gaatha Hai Mewar ki…
Bharat’s glorious history is incomplete without the mention of valour of Mewar. It is this region which continued to inspire the freedom fighters for centuries. Every particle of the region is revered as a pilgrimage place for those who avowed to sacrifice themselves for the nation.
Bappa Rawal, the founder of Mewar Dynasty, was the brave fighter under whom the glorious tradition of fighting against Mughal invaders began and was carried over for more than four centuries. It was because of his valour that the Mughals could not rule peacefully in the country for a long period. He defeated the ruler of Ghazani, Sultan, and then unfurled saffron flag up to Esphanhan, Kabul, Kandhar, Iraq, Iran, Turamn, Kafistan, etc. He unfurled saffron flag at the mountains of Hindukush near Khaibar Pass. It was because of his valour that the entire rgion remained peaceful for about 200 years.
Khamman second of Mewar Dynasty is also known for resisting the foreign invasions. He is reputed to have fought 24 successful battles against the invaders. Similar was the valour of Hammir and Kumbha. It is said that during the reigns of Maharana Kumbha that art, literature and building construction touched new heights. He developed Chittor as undeclared capital of Hindu India. Maharana Uday Singh, the father of Maharana Pratap, also held the head of Hindus high. The names of Maharana Sanga, Maharana Rajsingh are also significant.
Born on May 9, 1540, Maharana Pratap proved to be a legend. Just at the age of 17, he won Bagar, Chhappan and Gorwar regions. After taking over the reins of Mewar, Maharana Pratap had a solemn pledge not to live in the comfort of palaces and not to eat from gold and silver plates and bowls until he liberated his motherland. He vowed to sleep in the bed of grass and eat from the plates made of tree leaves. …And he fulfilled this oath by recapturing majority forts of Mewar. The entire life of Maharana Pratap spent fighting for the protection of the motherland. He died at the age of 57 and that too fighting for the motherland.
Another important thing about Mewar is that the empire was dedicated to Lord Eklingnathji by Bappa Rawal and that tradition is followed even now. All rulers of Mewar just acted as Diwan of Lord Eklinganathji. The documentary, Ye Gaatha Hai Mewar Ki, successfully depicts the struggle of Mewar for the preservation of freedom and the culture spanning several centuries. The documentary also underlines the sacrifice of Pannadhai, intense devotion of Meerabai, adroitness of Padmini, courageous act of Kiran Devi and deft handling of affairs by Karmavati.
–Pramod Kumar from Udaipur