Temple complex ruined over hundreds of years restored by Modi/ Yogi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated the first phase of the Kashi Vishwanath Dham here, a project which is spread over five lakh square feet and connects the temple premises to the River Ganga besides providing several facilities to devotees. Kashi temple areas were earlier congested and with this renovation entire area is now widened. The earlier Kashi Vishwanath premises was limited to just 3000 square feet. Now 23 new buildings have been constructed that will provide diverse facilities to the pilgrims and devotees.
The inauguration of the state-of-the-art infrastructure, built at the cost of Rs.339 crore, surrounding the historic Kashi Vishwanath Temple near the iconic Dashashwamedh Ghat. The gateways and other structures have been built with stones and other materials using traditional craftsmanship. In his inaugural speech, the Prime Minister said that earlier the Kashi Vishwanath temple area was only 3000 square feet which have now enlarged to about 5 lakh square feet. Now 50,000-75,000 devotees can visit the temple and its premises
After arriving in the holy city of Varanasi, also his parliamentary constituency, Modi paid obeisance at the Kaal Bhairav Temple and then took a dip in Ganga from where he collected holy water for worship at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Before the inauguration, Modi attended a prayer ceremony and later showered workers involved in building the project with flower petals in a gesture to acknowledge their work. He also sat with them for a group photograph.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BJP President J P Nadda, and a large number of saints from across the country attended the ceremony. The PMO had earlier said that it was Modi’s vision for a long time to facilitate pilgrims and devotees of Lord Shiva as they had to encounter congested streets and surroundings with poor upkeep while they went about the age-old custom of taking a dip in the holy river, collecting its water and offering it at the temple. “To realize this vision, Shri Kashi Vishwanath Dham was conceptualized as a project to create an easily accessible pathway to connect Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple to the banks of the River Ganga,” said PMO in a statement.
The new buildings will provide a variety of facilities to pilgrims, including ‘yatri suvidha Kendras, tourist facilitation center, Vedic Kendra, mumukshu Bhavan, bhojshala, city museum, viewing gallery, food court among others. The project involved the purchase and acquisition of more than 300 properties around the temple. Modi’s vision to take everyone along was the principle based on which mutual negotiations were done for these acquisitions, the PMO said, noting that around 1,400 shopkeepers, tenants, and homeowners were rehabilitated amicably.
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