In a bid to foster cultural ties and revive historical connections, the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT Madras) announced the launch of the registration portal for the second edition of the Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme. This initiative is part of Phase 2 of the Kashi Tamil Sangamam, scheduled to take place from December 17 to December 30, 2023.
According to a press release by IIT Madras, individuals from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry who are eager to participate in this unique cultural exchange can submit their applications on the KTS portal (kashitamil.iitm.ac.in) by December 8, 2023. The programme aims to strengthen the historical bonds between Varanasi and Tamil Nadu, both of which were pivotal centres of learning and culture in ancient India.
During Phase 2 of the Kashi Tamil Sangamam, participants will embark on an eight-day immersive tour to Varanasi, Prayagraj, and Ayodhya. Approximately 1,400 people from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are expected to travel to these culturally rich destinations by train, as highlighted in the press release.
Banaras Hindu University (BHU) will play host to the delegates throughout the fortnight-long event. Notably, in the previous year, the university graciously allowed the amphitheatre near its sports complex to host the delegates, creating an enriching environment for cultural exchange.
The Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme, as outlined by the ministry, seeks to rekindle the living bonds between Varanasi and Tamil Nadu, acknowledging their historical significance as key centres of learning and culture in ancient India. The focus is on facilitating people-to-people contact to foster a deeper understanding of each other’s cultural heritage.
Delegates participating in the programme will travel by train in seven groups to Varanasi, Allahabad, and Ayodhya. A media release from the education ministry outlines that the delegates will engage in visits to places of historical, tourist, and religious interest. Additionally, they will have opportunities to interact with the local residents of Uttar Pradesh, creating a platform for cultural exchange and mutual understanding.
The inaugural edition of the Kashi Tamil Sangamam was held in November-December of the previous year, attracting more than 2,500 participants from Tamil Nadu who explored the cultural and historical richness of Varanasi, Allahabad, and Ayodhya.
Coordinating with various institutions in Tamil Nadu, IIT Madras has planned a series of workshops, seminars, and outreach activities from December 1 to December 31, 2023. These events aim to prepare and engage participants in the cultural exchange programme, fostering a sense of unity and understanding.
The Kashi Tamil Sangamam Phase 2, coupled with the Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme, stands as a testament to the commitment towards preserving and celebrating India’s diverse cultural heritage. It not only promises an enriching experience for the participants but also serves as a bridge to connect the historical narratives of Varanasi and Tamil Nadu, contributing to the broader vision of cultural unity across the nation.