Mahakaal Lok embibes Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s twin visions – highlighting the rich Indian heritage as well as Digital India
It was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had dreamt of highlighting Indian culture, with its religious elements. The recently inaugurated Mahakaal Lok is the result of that dream. And it is not surprising that the redevelopment project around Ujjain’s revered Mahakaleshwar Temple incorporates one of PM Modi’s earliest visions for the country – Digital India.
“Ujjain Smart City was established in 2016 with the vision to develop the city in a prospectus of smartness. In the Ujjain Smart City project, we are not only looking at the religious prospectus but also the digital technology use and start-ups,” Gaurav Aggarwal, Public Engagement and Partnership Officer at Ujjain Smart City, told The New Indian.
Sharing details of how the digital aspect will enhance the religious experience of devotees who will visit the Mahakaal Lok, Aggarwal said, “An integrated control and command centre have been set up to monitor security arrangements in the temple corridor complex. We have deployed around 30 to 35 candidates, who are working 24×7 to monitor each and every activity in the Ujjain city. We have set up around 260 CCTV cameras in the corridor too.”
The digital aspect of the corridor will help people better understand Indian heritage. “Every statue (in the corridor) is unique, and every statue tells its own story that has a connection with Lord Shiva. Some of those stories we might know, but we might not know many. So, we are planning to put up a QR code over these statues. These QR codes can be scanned from a mobile and one can learn about the monument as well as the statue on one’s phone in audio format,” Aggarwal said.
Keeping in mind the senior citizens and differently-abled people that visit the temple, the government has arranged electric cars for their movement. “We have 21 electric cars at the complex. They are free of cost for senior citizens and specially abled people. We plan to add more in the future,” Aggarwal explained.
Aggarwal expects that after the redevelopment, footfalls can be increased by 60 to 70 per cent. “This is the biggest corridor of any temple. It is 980 metres in length and the corridor depicts the story of Lord Shiva through murals and its 108 pillars,” Aggarwal said, adding, “After the inauguration, we expect the daily footfall to be increased to 60 to 70 per cent.”