Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday offered prayers at the famous Tanot Mata temple here and laid the foundation stone and performed Bhoomi Pujan for building a complex at the site.
A fund of Rs 17.67 crore has been approved by the Centre for the project under the Border Tourism Development Programme. Border areas of Tanot and Jaisalmer will be developed under the project which will also strengthen security of the area.
Shah, accompanied by Border Security Force chief Pankaj Kumar Singh and officials, paid homage to soldiers at the ‘Tanot Vijay Stambh’ by laying a wreath.
Tanot Mata Temple is located at a distance of 120 kms from Jaisalmer and is looked after by the BSF. The temple survived intense Pakistani fire both during the 1965 and the 1971 wars.
The union minister reached Tanot in a helicopter from Jaisalmer and visited the temple. After offering prayers and paying tributes to the fallen soldiers, the minister laid the foundation stone of the project.
A waiting room, an amphitheater, an interpretation center, a room for children and several other facilities will be developed to promote tourism under this project.
It is believed that goddess Tanot gives strength to soldiers to fight against enemies and protects the country.
In the 1965 India-Pakistan War, the Pakistani Army had dropped several bombs targeting the temple, but not even one exploded. The unexploded bombs are displayed in the temple.
During the Longewala battle in 1971, Pakistani tanks were stuck in the sand near the temple, and the Indian Air Force picked them out easily by bombing them as they stood immobile.
The BSF takes care of the temple through a trust. Aarti and Bhajan Sandhya each morning and evening are attended by thousands of devotees from different parts of the country every day.