Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday paid rich tributes to saint-poet Kanaka Dasa on the occasion of his birth anniversary and flagged off two flagship trains from here, besides inaugurating the swanky Terminal-2 of the city airport.
Modi, on his arrival in the city to take part in various events, visited Legislators Home premises, near the Vidhana Soudha to pay floral tributes to Kanaka Dasa. He also paid respects to the statue of Maharshi Valmiki, the author of the epic Ramayana, in the vicinity.
”Today, on the auspicious occasion of Kanaka Dasa Jayanti, I paid homage to Sri Kanaka Dasa in Bengaluru. We will always be grateful to him for showing us the path of Bhakti, enriching Kannada literature and giving us a message of social unity,” Modi said in a tweet.
”Paid tributes to Maharshi Valmiki Ji in Bengaluru today morning,” he said in another tweet.
Paid tributes to Maharshi Valmiki Ji in Bengaluru today morning. pic.twitter.com/CreEfRB8Tb
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 11, 2022
Kanaka Dasa, whose birth anniversary is being celebrated today, is a renowned name in the field of ‘Kirtanas’ and ‘Ugabhoga’ (Carnatic music compositions in the Kannada language).
Born as Thimmappa Nayaka in 1509, he grew to become a celebrated philosopher, poet, and musician. Every year his birth anniversary is celebrated as ‘Kanaka Jayanti’ in the state and a regional public holiday is observed.
Niranjanananda Puri Swamiji of Kaginele Kanaka Guru Peetha and Valmiki Prasannananda Swamiji were present on the occasion, along with Karnataka Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, several of his cabinet colleagues, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi, and state Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri.
Both Kanaka Dasa and Valmiki are highly revered in the state, especially by Kuruba and Valmiki (ST) communities respectively.
This event of PM paying respects to both these personalities is also being seen in some quarters with a political prism ahead of the 2023 Assembly polls, as Kuruba and Valmiki communities hold the key for victory in a number of constituencies in the state. The PM later flagged off south India’s first, state-of-the-art Vande Bharat express, besides Bharat Gaurav Kashi Darshan service, operated by the Karnataka government’s Muzrai Department, from the Krantiveera Sangolli Railway station here.
The Kashi service will fulfill the dream of numerous travellers intending to undertake Yatra to the holy city, according to the South Western Railway.
It is an eight-day tour package at discounted rates for pilgrims. Official sources said the Government of Karnataka gives cash assistance of Rs 5,000 to the Kashi Vishwanath Yatra pilgrims.
This train covers holy places including Varanasi, Ayodhya and Prayagraj. Modi also flagged off the inaugural special of Vande Bharat Express, connecting Mysuru and Chennai via this city.
It is the first semi high-speed train in the south and the fifth in the country and adds to a list of services operating in this sector, including Shatabdi Express and Kaveri Express.
It would help in cutting the travel time and can clock a top speed of 160 kmph, officials said, adding at this speed, Bengaluru can be reached in three hours from Chennai.
Chennai-based Intergal Coach Factory has made the train, whose features include intelligent braking system, train collision preventing ‘Kavach’ mechanism, GPS-based passenger information system, special lavatory for the differently abled and rotating chairs in the Executive Class.
”The Chennai-Mysuru Vande Bharat Express will boost connectivity as well as commercial activities. It will also enhance ‘Ease of Living.’ Glad to have flagged off this train from Bengaluru,” Modi tweeted. Modi later inaugurated the glitzy Terminal-2 of the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) in the city. The new eco-friendly terminal in which bamboo has been extensively used has been built at an estimated cost of Rs 5,000 crore. Nicknamed as ‘Terminal in a garden’, the new facility at the KIA will cater to 2.5 crore passengers annually, a KIA official said. ”The T2 is an architectural wonder, which is a first-of-its kind ‘Terminal in a Garden’. It will have lush greenery within and outside and will be a visual delight like no other in the world. The passengers’ experience is designed to be a walk in the garden while travelling through the new terminal,” a KIA official said. The Terminal-2 will have a unique ‘hanging garden’.