Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the renovated Kashi Vishwanath corridor in Varanasi on December 13.
The Rs 800 crore-corridor is one of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s key infrastructure projects ahead of next year’s Assembly elections. It is also one of the pet projects of Modi, the MP for Varanasi. Modi was reportedly involved in the redevelopment from the initial briefing to reviewing the master plan, while also providing inputs.
The project was designed by Bimal Patel, the architect behind New Delhi’s proposed Central Vista redevelopment project.
The first phase of redevelopment covering the temple precincts will be opened to the public following the inauguration. The second phase involves redevelopment of the banks of the Ganga and will be ready by January.
Kashi, the Punya Bhumi of Baba Vishwanath Ji, has been a centre of spiritual & dharmik awakening since time immemorial.
Here’s a special peek into how the #काशीविश्वनाथकॉरिडोर transformed this Mokshapuri.
— G Kishan Reddy (@kishanreddybjp) December 6, 2021
At present, visitors pass through densely populated lanes with shops on either side to reach the temple. The 24-building temple complex was earlier spread over 300 square metres. It has now been expanded to make the area more spacious. The government acquired 314 private properties to increase the temple area to 3,000 square metres.
The demolition of private buildings also led to the recovery of at least 40 ancient temples.
The project has set up a direct link between the Ganga and the temple that can be covered within minutes. The sanctum sanctorum will now be able to accommodate 5,000 people, while the temple complex can hold 50,000 to 75,000 devotees.
The work included construction of a Temple Chowk, museum, gallery, multipurpose auditoriums, devotee facilitation centre, public convenience, and shelter for priests. About 70% of the project area has been be kept open for green cover.
Announcing the date for inauguration, Union Minister of Tourism and Culture G Kishan Reddy Kashi tweeted that the Vishwanath temple had been a centre of spiritual awakening since time immemorial. He also shared a video with his tweet that showed the temple complex prior to the redevelopment with snapshots of the construction, hinting at how the redeveloped area would look like.