The city of Varanasi on Saturday hosted an extremely high profile bash that featured Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), Mukesh Ambani along with his entire family. This occasion in question was the 50th birthday celebrations of his wife and Chairperson of Reliance Foundation, Nita Ambani. The family also participated in a special puja organized at the KashiVishwanath Temple.
This was the Ambani’s first visit to Varanasi, a city that is now represented by Prime Minister Nardendra Modi himself. Modi recently attended the inaugural function of Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Center in Mumbai that was hosted by the Ambani’s.
A High Profile Birthday Bash
The invite list included some of India’s leading personalities from Bollywood and the sporting world. It is believed that the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar and KareenaKapoorwere present at the event that was organized at GulabBagh of Gateway Hotel Ganges. Even though the people responsible for the arrangements refuse to comment, it is believed that the guest-list is a small and intimate one of 40 people.
Other guests included the top brass of the district administration including the district magistrate, the divisional commissioner and the Inspector General.
A Royal Abode
It is known that a group of top officials from RIL arrived early at the premise to make arrangements for the event. Preparations were in full swing at Nadesar Palace, which is a part of the hotel where the Ambani family stayed along with their guests during their brief visit. A former abode of the royalty of Banaras, the Nadaser Palace that borders the eastern part of the hotel has been extensively decorated specially for this event. Outsiders were not permitted to enter the premises during the arrangements and on the day of the celebrations.
The Opulent Celebrations
The Ambani’s including their children Isha and Akash and mother KokilabenAmbani along with some close relatives and friends flew into the city in 4 chartered planes at around 345 PM and left for Mumbai the same night. The group was welcomed by the people of Varanasi with a traditional ‘HarHarMahadev’ chant.
40 luxury cars were brought in from Delhi to escort the family and the guests to Nadeser Palace for some rest after which they left for the ancient KashiVishwanath Temple in a luxury bus. Here, a Rudrabhishek of the presiding deity of the city was performed using 101 liters of milk. This ritual was performed using 21 silver bowls, 4 large silver containers and 1 silver bucket. This ritual takes place amidst chanting of mantras performed by 31 Brahmins. The puja was conducted by Padma Shri Prof Devi Prasad Dwivedi. The temple remained closed to public for about 1.5hours while Mukesh and Nita Ambani performed the puja.
After the puja, the party visited the Dashashwamedh Ghat to witness the renowned Ganga Aarti. The family also spent time on a bajra (house boat) to soak in the ambiance of the ghat. Upon returning to the hotel, a cake cutting ceremony was planned at GulabhBagh.