The concept of considering our nation as a mother is deep-rooted in our culture. The reference to the word Bharati appears in Rigveda. Bharti is the goddess of speech ‘vakdevi’. During the Independence movement, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee again revived it in his song ‘Vande Mataram’; which not only became famous but has been accepted by every Bharatiya heart.
One of the earlier temples is at Varanasi, built in 1936, it was formally inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi. Instead of a personified image of Maa Bharati, the temple has a huge map of Akhanda Bharat made out of Makrana marble on the floor. The topography is clearly mapped to the scale in ratio of 1 Inch:6.4 Mile. There is a corridor all around the map for pradakshina and to offer homage. The map is decorated with flowers on the day of Independence and Republic Day. The architectural character of the structure that houses this map is very simple and suitable to the period when it was constructed.
Another temple of Bharat Mata is in Haridwar, which is an eight-storied building that houses information about Maa Bharati. The structure is more like a museum. One is in Kanyakumari and another in Ujjain. In one of the ancient temples in Daulatabad fort near Aurangabad, the idol of Ma Bharati has been installed, though that must have been done at a much later date.
These temples along with the National War Memorial in Delhi and other small war memorials in the Army areas are also the temples of Bharat Mata. The feelings that are aroused at such places are more important. The ‘Take home’ feeling after visiting these places is the inspiration to do something for the betterment of my mother, My mother Nation, My Maa Bharati. We need many more such places to ignite the flame of patriotism. n