500 Yrs On, Kashi Vishwanath Gets Facelift; From 3000 Sq Ft To 5 L Sq Ft, Tanishq Cleaning & Panoramic Ganga Darshan

| Updated : December 13, 2021, 8:17 pm
Updated : December 13, 2021, 8:17 pm

VARANASI: Ambling towards the vedic kendra inside the sanctum sanctorum of Kashi Vishwanath Temple, that is one of the 12 Jyotirlingams of India, sisters Aditi Mehrotra and Kriti Mehrotra, look at ease endlessly walking bare feet in a chilly December.

The sisters, who come from Luxa in Varanasi, are regular visitors of Kashi Vishwanath shrine since they were 4 years of age. But this time there’s a sense of newness and belongingness as the facelift and development of the new corridor allows them to bring their friends and relatives for a breathtaking view of Ganga darshan from inside the temple’s first floor.

Sisters Aditi and Kriti talk about new Kashi Vishwanath Corrdidor inside santum sanctorum

 


“This place consisted of crumbling architecture of buildings, cramped lanes. The temple was gathering dust and dirt for years. There was no attempt for the faithful to restore its glory by any of the governments in the past. The golden dome used to be black. Now, everyone in Varanasi is excited. Of course, we are thankful to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is our elected MP,” says Aditi.

 

Her sister Kriti adds ,”With such protection of Shiva and our faith, you can see  we are walking at 11 pm safely. No one to stop us or ogle at us. Varanasi’s become a wonderful place to live,

Many like Mehrotra sisters are buoyant on the tourism boost that Kashi Vishwanath Corridor, built at an estimated cost of Rs 400-crore, will give to the city of deities. The other Rs 400-crore was used for rehabilitating the people living in the vicinity whose buildings were acquired for this marvel.

This facelift is the first such since the 12th century, first in 1194 and then 1777. It was demolished by Aurganzeb , the sixth Mughal emperor, who constructed the Gyanvapi Mosque on its site.

 

Now, as the new corridor stands on an area of 50,000 square metre (roughly 5 lakh square feet) from the original 3000-sq feet – a giant 200-fold jump — the corridor gives an expansive view of Ganga and opens into three ghats including the Lalita Ghat.

“The lights are bright. The pink sandstone columns and domes are looking mesmerising. The corridor is 400-meter long and 75-meter wide. There is a library, sites for meditation. Earlier, pilgrims and devotees had to be sent back as we could never accommodate them. It was a shame for us. It took us three years. It’s a privilege for us that we can accommodate as much footfall now, “Umesh, OSD, Kashi Vishwanath Trust tells The New Indian.

Umesh, OSD to senior priest, Kashi Vishwanath

 

He then points at the clean, sparkling gold domes. “They have been cleaned by Tanishq,” he smiles.

The entire corridor design has been developed by leading architect Dr Bimal Patel, also the man behind the upcoming Central Vista building in Delhi.

As far as Kashi Vishwanath corridor is concerned, a total of 23 buildings are being inaugurated in the phase 1 of the project. They will provide a variety of facilities to the pilgrims visiting Kashi Vishwanath Temple. The include Yatri Suvidha Kendras, Tourist Facilitation Centre, Vedic Kendra, Mumukshu Bhavan, Bhogshala, City Museum, Viewing Gallery, Food Court, among others.

CEO Dr Sunil Verma, Kashi Vishwanath Corridor Project

 

“The project involved purchase and acquisitions of more than 300 properties around Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Prime Minister’s vision to take everyone along was the principle based on which mutual negotiations were done for these acquisitions. The rehabilitation of around 1400 shopkeepers, tenants and homeowners were done amicably. The testimony of the success is the fact that there is no litigation pending in any court of the country regarding acquisitions or rehabilitation related to the development of the project,” CEO Dr Sunil Verma, Kashi Vishwanath Corridor Project tells The New Indian.

PM Narendra Modi has lunch with some of the workers who constructed the Kashi Vishwanath Dam.

 

Several locals also said that they were astonished the progress of project without hassles to their foot movement around the bylines or disturbance in civic amenities such as supply of water, electricity and sewage.

“We faced no problems during last two and half years or so. If anything, I would come daily just to pray, take blessings and see the progress. Of marbles, floorings, new halls, design and new four big, enormous gates. It was so fast we didn’t realise it either how they completed work during COVID,” says Deepak Kasera, a trader who sells luggages at a shop three-kilometres from the Kashi Vishwanath temple.


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