Pilgrim Current Affairs - 2020

PM Modi inaugurates 50 projects worth 1000 crores in Varanasi

On February 16, 2020, PM Modi inaugurated more than 50 projects that are worth 1000 crores in Varanasi. It included 430 beds in a hospital at Banaras Hindu University, flagging off of Maha Kaal Express, 100 year celebration of Jagadguru Vishwaradhya Gurukul and unveiling statue of Deendayal Upadhyay.

Highlights

PM Modi inaugurated Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Memorial Centre in Varanasi. Deendayal Upadhyay was a former leader of Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the forerunner of the current BJP. In order to honor the leader, PM also inaugurated a 63 feet tall statue that was made of Pancha Loha

What is Pancha Loha?

Panchaloha is an alloy of Copper, Zincm Gold, Iron and Silver. Some times lead or tin is used instead of Zinc.

Maha Kaal Express

The Prime Minister also flagged off the Maha Kaal Express. It is the first overnight private train that will connect three Jyotirling pilgrim centres. They are Ujjain, Varanasi and Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh.

World renowned Chardham Yatra begins in Uttarakhand

The world renowned and much awaited chardham yatra  began in Uttrakhand. The Gangotri and Yamunotri dhams were opened for pilgrims on auspicious occasion of Akshay Tritya (also called ‘Teej’, is an annual spring time festival of Jains and Hindus).

About Chardham

  • It literally means four sacred pilgrimage centres.
  • The four pilgrim-destinations are Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath which are collectively called Chardham.
  • It is located in the great Himalayas in Uttarakhand.
  • Route Followed: As per traditions, this pilgrimage tour should begin from West and end in East. Therefore, Char Dham Yatra starts from Yamunotri, then proceeds to Gangotri and finally end towards Kedarnath and Badrinath.
  • Religious Deities: Each sites is devoted to a specific deity.
  • Yamunotri dedicated to Goddess ‘Yamuna’. It stands high up in deep left on western face of Bandarpunch Peak.
  • Gangotri dedicated to Goddess ‘Ganga’. The shrine overlooks River Bhagirathi.
  • Kedarnath dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is also a part of Panch Kedar. It is northern-most Jyotirlinga and is close to source of holy River Mandakini.
  • Badrinath dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is situated on the bank of River Alaknanda (it is one of the two headstreams of Ganges other is Bhagirathi).
  • Importance: In accordance with Hindu conventions, devotees take up this pious tour of Char Dham yatra in hope to experience bliss (heaven) and successfully remove their souls of all worldly demons.