Kashi Tamil Sangamam: Historical relations between Kashi and Tamilnadu
Varanasi.The month-long Kashi-Tamil Samagam will be formally launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi, today . Sangamam will highlight many facets of the historical and cultural ties between North…
Varanasi.The month-long Kashi-Tamil Samagam will be formally launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi, today . Sangamam will highlight many facets of the historical and cultural ties between North and South India. A total of 2500 visitors from Tamil Nadu will be brought in groups to Varanasi for eight-day visits that will include trips to Ayodhya and Prayagraj in addition to an authentic local experience.
The similarities in literary themes between the two centres of knowledge, "Kashi and Kanchi," and the prevalence of the name Kashi in every Tamil Nadu village make this connection clear. Kashinath is also a well-known name in Tamil Nadu.
There are number of Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu that are known as Kashi in addition to the Kasi Viswanathar temple in Tenkasi; there are about 18 of them in the region surrounding Chennai alone.
In the past, it used to take six months to travel from Kashi to Rameswaram. Before travelling to Kashi for darshan, people from Rameswaram would take a dip in the Koti teertha in the temple and they would bring holy water of Ganga from Kashi back for abhiseka at the temple in Rameswaram, so only this would complete their pilgrimage.
As per the legend, King Parakrama Pandya of the territory around Madurai in the 15th century wanted to construct a temple to Lord Shiva and went to Kashi to retrieve a lingam. He took a break under a tree while travelling back, but the cow carrying the lingam wouldn't move when he tried to move on.
When Parakrama Pandya realised that this was the Lord's intention, he installed the lingam in the location that would later be known as Sivakasi. The Pandyas had constructed the Kasi Viswanathar Temple for devotees who could not travel to Kashi in what is now Tenkasi in southwestern Tamil Nadu, close to the state's border with Kerala.
After returning from a pilgrimage to Kashi a long time later, another king named Adhivir Ram Pandyan built another Shiva temple in Tenkasi in the 19th century.
Sant Kumara Gurupara, a resident of the Thoothukudi district, had communicated with the princely state of Kashi to secure a location for the dedication of Kedarghat and Vishvesvaralingam in Varanasi. In addition, he created Kashi Kalambagam, a collection of linguistic poems about Kashi.
The event is being organised by the Ministry of Education, and according to the official note, the larger goal is to "bring the two knowledge and cultural traditions (of the North and South) closer together, create an understanding of our shared heritage, and deepen the people-to-people bond between the regions."
In addition to the religious connections between Kashi and the southern state of Tamilnadu, there are also connections in the fields of architecture, cuisine, and textiles as well as traders of silk saris and other apparel from Bananas and Kanchipuram. The process of discovery and reconnection with the Kashi Tamil Sangam has only just begun.