IIT Madras, BHU Team Up As Knowledge Partners For Kashi Tamil Sangamam

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The month-long Kashi Tamil Sangamam commenced in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, on Thursday. This initiative of the Indian government seeks to bring to the fore relationship between Varanasi and Tamil Nadu in all aspects– academic, economic, social, and cultural. Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and Indian Institute of Technology- Madras (IIT-M), both prominent higher education institutions, will be the knowledge partners for the event.

As part of the initiative, which comes under the Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat campaign, close to 2,400 people from Tamil Nadu will visit Varanasi. Tamil Nadu and Kashi have a longstanding relationship that is now being re-explored. According to educationist and chairman of the Ministry of Education’s Bharatiya Bhasha Samiti, Chamu Krishna Shastry, a visit to Kashi has been considered an essential part of a scholar’s education in Southern India since ancient times, reported the Indian Express.

“The month-long programme aims to create an understanding of our shared heritage and deepen the people-to-people bond between the regions,” tweeted the education ministry. (sic)

Shastry also pointed out the existence of hundreds of Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu that bear the name of Kashi. He spoke of the trade and art connections between the two regions, stating the example of silk saris and textiles from Bananas and Kanchipuram. There are architectural, culinary, and other links, too. “We have just started the process of discovery and reconnection,” Shastry said.

Apart from the two knowledge partners, the UP and Varanasi administrations and Ministries of Tourism, Culture, Railways, Textiles, and Food Processing are also stakeholders in the initiative.

There are special transportation arrangements in place. The attendees, coming to UP as a part of the Kashi Tamil Sangamam initiative, will visit Varanasi in groups. Each group’s visit will last for a period of eight days. They will travel to Kashi in special coaches, which will be attached to trains departing from Chennai, Coimbatore and Rameswaram on 12 different dates. As part of the experience, people from the South Indian state will be a part of trips to Ayodhya and Prayagraj. They will also be privy to an immersive local experience in Varanasi.