ANI Photo | ‘Prayas: Dharohar Kashi Ki’: Varanasi rolls out red carpet for diplomats in celebration of country’s heritage

Responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to preserve and celebrate India’s rich spiritual and cultural heritage as part of ‘Prayas: Dharohar Kashi Ki’, in the spirit of ‘Vikas Bhi, Virasat Bhi’ (a thrust on progress combined with the preservation of heritage and cultural legacies), ambassadors and diplomats of 25 nations descended on Varanasi, one of the country’s most ancient pilgrimage sites in Uttar Pradesh, on Saturday.
Among the envoys and diplomats attending the two-day event were the counsellor of the Royal Thai Embassy, Kanokporn Kunnawattana, the counsellor of the Moroccan Embassy, Said Hijri, Mauritian High Commissioner to India, Haymandoyal Dillum, and the Ambassador of Gautemala to India, Omar Lisandro Castaneda Solares.
Taking in the mesmerising experience of Varanasi, the diplomats visited Namo Ghat and also took a cruise down the holy Ganges before taking part in the Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat.
Embracing the rich culture of Varanasi, the Mauritian High Commissioner to India said the ancient city is the richest place of all in terms of its cultural heritage and spiritual ambience.
prayas dharohar kashi ki varanasi rolls out red carpet for diplomats in celebration of countrys heritage – The News Mill
“Firstly, I would like to thank Chandigarh University for taking the initiative to bring nearly 20 ambassadors from Delhi to the holy city of Varanasi for this event. For me, this city should rank as the richest on the planet. While taking up their postings in India, all diplomats should, in my opinion, visit this city and offer prayers to Lord Shiva before embarking on their journey as envoys,” the Mauritian High Commissioner told ANI.
“We’re very thankful to be here. This is the place where ancient religious beliefs and ideas of spirituality took shape. This is a place to celebrate culture and heritage. I believe there is no better place to reconnect with our roots than Varanasi,” he added
The Ambassador of Guatemala, Omar Castaneda, said he was delighted to be in Varanasi, adding it was a ‘historic experience’.
prayas dharohar kashi ki varanasi rolls out red carpet for diplomats in celebration of countrys heritage 1 – The News Mill
“We’re all having such a great experience out here. We are so happy. I feel delighted and privileged to be here, along with all my fellow diplomats from different parts of the world, undertaking this wonderful spiritual journey. As the culture capital of India, Varanasi is amazing and transcendent. We are so delighted today, to be here, to know and to be close to this historic and wonderful Ganga River, that we read and learned a lot about during our time in school, college and university. So, this was nothing short of a historic experience,” Castaneda said.
“We admire the work (across spheres) that the Indian government is putting in under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi and we are happy to be sharing this wonderful experience with you all today. All around us, we can see how India is registering a phenomenal growth, and is working together with many other countries of the Global South as well,” the envoy added.
Ace fashion designer Manish Malhotra also joined the ambassadors and diplomats in Akashi’s Namo Ghat and took part in the flower and candle ceremony along with delegates.
Describing his visit to the ancient temple town, Malhotra said he, along with 20 ambassadors, arrived in Kashi to celebrate the country’s heritage as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
prayas dharohar kashi ki varanasi rolls out red carpet for diplomats in celebration of countrys heritage 2 – The News Mill
“I am here with 20 ambassadors of beautiful nations, and we are here at Kashi…at the Ghat, which I absolutely love. I love coming here and we are all going to light diyas (earthen lamps) to celebrate India, Kashi, Modi-ji, and the experience of all of us being here together in Kashi. The sights and scenes around us are beautiful. We have a fashion show here tomorrow where we will showcase the exquisite craftsmanship and artistry of our weavers, and the fabrics of Benaras, which, as you all know, have been around for centuries. I feel very excited to be doing a fashion show here,” he said.
“I love visiting the (Dashashwamedh) ghat and thought that I would, perhaps, do a fashion show here this time. And I am excited to share with you all that it’s happening tomorrow. I am all the more excited and enthused as all our guests here, the diplomats, will be here to watch it. So, it feels really special,” Malhotra added.
A mega event hosted by the Indian Minorities Foundation (IMF) over two days, ‘Dharohar Kashi Ki’ kicked off on Friday, April 13 and culminated on Saturday. The event, while celebrating the country’s roots, was also aimed at promoting the traditional handicrafts and handlooms of Varanasi.

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