IIT Madras has officially launched the registration portal for the second phase of Kashi Tamil Sangamam (KTS), a significant undertaking within the Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat program. The event is scheduled to take place from December 17th to December 30th, 2023, with the primary objective of fortifying the historical and cultural bonds between Varanasi and Tamil Nadu. Notably, the inaugural edition held in 2022 attracted more than 2500 participants from diverse backgrounds.

In the forthcoming Phase 2, approximately 1400 individuals from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are set to embark on an 8-day immersive tour to Varanasi, Prayagraj, and Ayodhya. This diverse group, comprising students, teachers, farmers, artisans, traders, businessmen, religious figures, writers, and professionals, will be categorized into seven groups, each named after a sacred river.

The program, under the joint management of IIT Madras in Tamil Nadu and BHU in Uttar Pradesh, places significant emphasis on awareness generation, fostering people-to-people connections, and facilitating cultural immersion. Participants are expected to engage actively with local counterparts, such as weavers, artisans, artists, and entrepreneurs, to encourage cross cultural learning and the exchange of ideas.

Crucial ministries, including Education, Culture, Railways, Tourism, Textiles, Food Processing, MSME, I&B, SD&E, and relevant departments of the Uttar Pradesh government, are collaborating to ensure the success of KTS 2.0.

The delegate itinerary comprises two days of onward and return travel, with two days allocated for exploration in Varanasi and one day each in Prayagraj and Ayodhya. The program will showcase stalls exhibiting the art, culture, handlooms, handicrafts, and cuisine of Tamil Nadu and Varanasi. Additionally, cultural programs blending the traditions of both regions will be organized at Namo Ghat in Varanasi.

Academic exchanges, including seminars, discussions, lectures, and demonstrations, will cover a wide array of topics, ranging from literature and ancient texts to philosophy, spirituality, music, dance, drama, yoga, Ayurveda, handlooms, handicrafts, and modern innovations. Local practitioners will actively participate, ensuring a practical dimension to the knowledge exchange.

To raise awareness, IIT Madras, in collaboration with institutions in Tamil Nadu, will conduct dedicated outreach activities from December 1st to December 31st. Applications for participation in the program are currently being accepted through the KTS portal, with a selection committee overseeing the delegate selection process.

Building on the success of the inaugural edition in 2022, Kashi Tamil Sangamam Phase 2 aspires to further enhance the cultural dialogue between Varanasi and Tamil Nadu, providing a platform for meaningful exchanges and collaborations across diverse fields.

Rishika Kukrety

Rishika Kukrety

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