Varanasi To Get A Grand Heritage Museum

Here is one more reason to visit vibrant Varanasi next year its yet-to-be-launched heritage museum
Credit / Roop_Dey
Credit / Roop_Dey

Varanasi, the city by the Ganga, is one of the oldest living cities and has been a hub of socio-religious culture for aeons. From it came the sitar maestro Ravi Shankar and the shenai genius Ustad Bismillah Khan, and before them, it has been the locus of religious pilgrimages since ancient times. Its association with novelist Prem Chand and saint-poet Tulsi Das is well known to generations of Indians. Sarnath, where the Buddha preached his first sermon, is only 10 kilometres away. Varanasi is also believed to be the birthplace of Parsvanath, the twenty-third Tirthankarth of the Jains. It also boasts Mrs. Annie Besant&rsquos Theosophical Society, and Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya instituted Benares Hindu University (BHU), the largest university in Asia.

A fount of knowledge, philosophy, culture, devotional spots, and Indian handicrafts, Varanasi/Benaras/Kashi, is set to be home to a grand heritage museum. This will be built at the cost of Rs 100 crore. The Uttar Pradesh Tourism Deputy Director Priti Srivastava has revealed that the heritage museum will offer people a glimpse into Varanasi's rich culture and tradition. From architecture, relics, and documents to facts about civilisations, the history of ancient temples, and a virtual experience, it will all come together under the heritage museum.

Varanasi has given to the world master artisans in handicrafts such as textiles, metal, clay and woodwork, and has nine of its products granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag. The city is home to several other museums, such as the Ramnagar Fort Museum, which displays vintage cars, palanquins, swords and guns, ivory work, and antique clocks. The Bharat Kala Bhawan, in the BHU, has a collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures, manuscripts, Mughal miniatures, brocade textiles, pottery, metal craft, ivory goods, jewellery, terracotta beads, and a rare collection of Gujarati, Rajasthani and Pahari miniature paintings. Then there is the Deendayal Hastkala Sankul, a trade centre, and museum, a modern and integrated facility developed by the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, to support the handloom and handicraft sector of Varanasi and the nearby areas.

It is reported that the government is surveying for a suitable antique mansion to house the grand heritage museum and that it would be ready by 2023.

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