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Maiden Museum of Mahashaktipeeths in the Naina Devi Temple a reality now--Muses master Museologist Dr PC Sharma

YS RANA | July 31, 2021 11:04 AM

SHARI NAINA DEVI JI (H.P): Inasmuch as the transnational audiences of devotees, pilgrims, tourists, historians, archaeologists and researchers at world acclaimed Shri Naina Devi Temple in district Bilaspur of Himachal Pradesh dating back to 8th century has aggrandized in millions statistic at the moment and thus there has awakened an utmost necessity for exploring, researching, documenting and strengthening historical, architectural, archival and socio-cultural characteristics associated with the Shrine in this modern era of skepticism.

In the milieu, the temple trust under the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of Himachal Pradesh has decided to set up the state- of- the art National Museum of Mahashaktipeeths on the temple premises.

With a view to move the ambitious temple museum project ahead, the first session was congregated last week to discuss and deliberate upon the location, concept, contents, scope, artefacts, resource material, collections, various galleries and related publications. The convention among others was participated by the temple Commissioner Pankaj Rai, internationally renowned Museologist Dr PC Sharma, temple Chairman Subhash Gautam and Dr ND Sharma, a Sanskrit scholar.

The Creator of over two dozen public and private museums in India and abroad, Dr PC Sharma, whilst delivering a vision document and blue print beamed that the temple museum showcasing historical, socio-cultural, artistic, archival, architectural, archaeological, literary and geo-heritage relics related to about 51 Mahashaktipeeths will be first of its kind in the world. Technically speaking, museums acquire, conserve, research, communicate, and exhibit artefacts for purposes of study, research, education and entertainment, material evidence of people and their environment.

Museums enable people to explore collections for inspiration, knowledge, learning and divertissement. They are institutions that collect, safeguard and make accessible artefacts and specimens, which they hold in trust for society. The multiculturalism due to an emerging technology and digitization calls for more need of museums than ever as they besides cultivating communities together, herald masses in conjunction in a more literal way, through public events, interactive talks, workshops, lectures, seminars, symposiums, colloquium and conferences affirmed Dr PC Sharma.

The globally famed ancient Mahashaktipeeth of Shri Naina Devi enchants millions of masses per annum for spiritual solace, pilgrimage and research pursuits. The Commissioner Pankaj Rai, who is an avid art- lover exclaimed that the temple museum institution besides exhibition and store- house of rare artefacts will open a panorama of educational, cultural, folklores, museological, research and literary activities for pilgrims and researchers alike. The Chairman of the temple trust, Subhash Gautam pronounced that the dedicated museum building is being suitably renovated and upgraded in an ultramodern manner for setting up various museum sections.

The museum will broadly comprise various 13 thematic heritage sections mainly on the historical, artistic, archival and socio-cultural facets of Mahashaktipeeths. A live open-air gallery of spiritual plants found in our ancient scriptures such as Peepal, Shami, Banyan, Bael, Sandalwood, Bamboo, Ashoka, Tulsi, Eucalyptus, Calatheas, Rosemary, Jade, Neem, Mango, Amla, Harad, Bahera, Coconut, Kunda, Kadamb, Kamuda, Parijaat, Champa, Rudrakasha, Lotus, Harshingar, Sala, Tila, Vata etc. to name a few will also be created around the precinct of the museum to promote and propagate temple forestry.

The pilgrims will be motivated and educated to offer and partake “Vrikshprasadam” under Spiritual Afforestation Mission, revealed Dr PC Sharma, a renowned environmentalist and museum maven. The Meditation Gallery will enshrine the cosmic images of various manifestations of Shaktis and divine glimpses of the sanctum sanctorum and synagogue. A special section on Shiva’s Consort will chronicle various epitomes namely Parvati, Uma, Sati, Durga and Kali. Besides, a Souvenir Gallery of relics, gift items, momentos etc. and Religious Library of ancient scriptures will also make an integral part of the museum. An audio-visual section will facilitate the visitors digitally. Besides, a section on the ancient history and archaeology of historical town of Bilaspur will also be showcased in the museum divulged Dr Sharma.

The great pioneer of temple museums mission Dr PC Sharma, who is founder of maiden Baba Balak Nath Museum at internationally famed Deotsidh Sidhpeeth has also envisioned Mahashakti Vidyapeeth of Religious Studies at Shri Naina Devi Shrine with the view to pursue and impart programs in higher educational, museological, Indological, theological and metaphysical studies along with research

The distinguished descendant of Deotsidh Sidhpeeth, Dr Sharma has felicitated the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Temple Commissioner Pankaj Rai for initiating maiden temple museum master plan at Mahashaktipeeth of Shri Naina Devi which will go a long way in exhibiting, educating, preserving and conserving the historical heritage of the prominent shrine. He has also exhorted Mr. Thakur to spearhead such heritage maneuvers of universal importance in all the Government managed major enshrinements of Himachal Pradesh with the holy grail for enlistment of monumental temples in the UNESCO World HeritageCatalogue.

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