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PM Modi’s Maharashtra tour: Here’s everything you should know about the Sant Tukaram temple and more


Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Maharashtra on Tuesday, June 14 to inaugurate places of religious and historic importance. The PM will start his day tour in Dehu, Pune by inaugurating the temple of Shrisant Tukaram Maharaj. Later, he will head to Raj Bhawan in Mumbai to inaugurate the Jal Bhushan Building and Gallery of Revolutionaries. He will end the tour by participating at Dwishatabdi Mahotsav at the Bandra Kurla Complex.

Who is Jagatguru Shrisant Tukaram Maharaj

Jagatguru Shrisant Tukaram Maharaj was a Warkari saint and poet who was known for his devotional songs and Abhanga poetry. A Shila Mandir was built on the Shila, but it was not formally established as a temple. It features a stone structure with 36 peaks and an idol of Sant Tukaram.

During his life, the Bhakti saint had been on the rock for 13 days, after he was asked about the authenticity of his Abhyangs. According to Sansthan president Nitin More, prior to this, the saint spent about 10 days in the Indrayani river, and his work mysteriously reappeared after 13 days. Since then the rock where he was sitting is considered a pilgrimage site for the Warkari sect.

The rock, before the temple, was built, used to be covered by a silver cast with an image of Sant Tukaram where devotees would pay obeisance. In 2008, the silver mask was stolen and found on the banks of the Indrayani after a few days. The Sansthan decided to replace the silver covering with an image of Sant Tukaram Maharaj on the Shila, with a temple housing both, that the PM will inaugurate on Tuesday.

The work of Sant Tukaram is central to the Warkari sect in Maharashtra. He believed in developing a casteless society. He is also credited with starting the pilgrimage of the Wari.

Significance of Modi’s visit

This will be Modi’s first visit to the temple. Although the leaders of the Wakhri sect have taken a different stance on various issues, they have refrained from directly addressing politics. In 2009, former president Prathibha Patil visited the temple. The visit of the Prime Minister to the shrine comes ahead of the local body elections in the state that is a stronghold of NCP-Shiv Sena. Of the three by-polls held since 2019, BJP has won just once while the ruling alliance has won two and ever since been trying to get back.

PM in Raj Bawan, Mumbai

The Prime Minister will be inaugurating the Jal Bhushan Building and Gallery of Revolutionaries at Raj Bhawan in Mumbai which was once the official residence of the Governor of Maharashtra and was demolished later. The foundation stone for the new building was laid by the President of India in August 2019. All the distinctive features of the old building have been preserved and incorporated into the new building

Raj Bhawan also houses a bunker used y Britishers for storing ammunition and arms. In 2016, the then governor of Maharashtra, Shri Vidyasagar Rao, found a bunker that has been remodeled as a gallery to commemorate the contributions of revolutionaries and freedom fighters in the state from Vasudev Balwant Phadke, the Savarkar brothers, the Chaphekar brothers, to Madam Bhikaji Cama, among others.

The Prime Minister will end the day by celebrating the 200th anniversary of the publication of the Mumbai Samachar at the Bandra Kurla Complex. The weekly newspaper was first published on July 1, 1822, by Fardjee Marbanji. It was then published as a daily in 1832. To commemorate the occasion, a postal stamp will be released.

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