It was the celestial Ganga Arti coupled with Ganga Pujan which captivated Hollywood actor-turned-film maker Goldie Hawn in Varanasi on Saturday. On Sunday, it was the Temple dedicated to Mother India, with undivided map of India, which left Hawn and her female friend spellbound.
A day after viewing celestial spectacle of evening Ganga Arti at Dashwashamedh Ghat in Varanasi, Hollywood actor-turned-film maker Goldie Hawn on Sunday relished early morning boat ride in the Ganga river.
During her seventh visit to Varanasi, which she visited first in 1982,winner of Oscar Award for Best Supporting Actress in Cactus Flower, who turns 64 two weeks later and plans making her directorial debut with the flick Ashes to Ashes starring husband Kurt Russel to be shot in India, visited the Bharat Mata Temple in the evening, perhaps the only temple dedicated to Mother India.
At the temple Goldie was captivated by relief map of undivided India and could stop self from saying “vow it’s great…in the land where gods and goddesses are worshipped there is even a temple which is dedicated to the spirit of nationalism.”
During her half-an-hour stay at the temple, the Private Benjamin star and mother of Hollywood actors Kate and Oliver Hudson, remained mesmerised by exquisite marble architecture at the temple dedicated to the nation in 1936 by Mahatma Gandhi.
As per Dr Shailesh Tripathi, the seasoned tourist guide accompanying her said, “completely spellbound by the temple of nationalism, Goldie and her companion Lisha only uttered its magnificent….I can’t believe that I missed this splendour during my earlier visits to this city which is closest to my heart since 1982.”
Goldie who arrived in Varanasi on Saturday by a Jet flight from New Delhi and stays at Nadesar Palace-turned-luxury Hotel before flying back on Monday, started her trek to the city last evening with an emotional visit to a riverside guest house owned by her spiritual guru Acharya Deoki Nandan Shastri’s son Gokul Sharma.
During her stay at the guest house for nearly 30 minutes on Saturday evening, Goldie broke into tears while offering a marigold garland at the picture of Shastri (legendary astrologer) who passed away on June 28, 2008.
“I could not come to guruji when he breathed last…which is unfortunate and will always pain me,” she told the young trader son of her guruji later as told by the latter to HT.
A completely emotional Goldie, attired in white, capped with a red shawl and pearl bracelet adorning her hand, offered a garland of marigold at her Guru’s photograph and stayed at the Guest House for around half an hour, sipping spicy tea.
Late Shastri’s son Gokul Sharma further said Goldie who met his father in 1982 firstly, visited Varanasi home of the astrologer’s family six to seven times later, with the last one being about five years back.
She also viewed the Ganga Arti on Dashwashamedh Ghat and performed Ganga Pujan there also on Saturday evening.
“She also performed the Ganga Pujan, garlanded the sacred river symbolically with flowers as also got the Raksha Sutra tied on her hand by the Vedic Brahmins,” said Bhawna Trivedi, secretary of Ganga Sewa Nidhi which organises the evening arti at the Dashwashamedh Ghat.
Those accompanying her back to the hotel on Saturday evening after a boat ride of the majestic riverfront told “while return from the Ganga Ghat she ventured through the Vishwanath Gali and stopped for a moment to capture darshan of Lord Ganesh at Sakshi Vinayak Temple.”
It’s not the first time any celebrity from the Hollywoodis in Varanasi, as in the past too celebrities like Tina Turner, Celine Dion, Brad Pitt, Heidi Klum-Seal and Scarlet Johansson have trouped down to this millennia old city to savour its mystical charm.