Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor on Monday, December 13, and said that this project will provide easy access to pilgrims to offer prayers in the holy river Ganga and Lord Vishwanath which will add to Kashi’s (ancient name of Varanasi and Banaras) spiritual vibrancy. This historic project was completed in record time (33 months) that connect the various ghats to Lord Shiva’s Vishwanath Dham. This major project is one of the important projects to fulfil PM’s promises to his constituency, to turn Kashi into Kyoto, the Japanese city of temples. The other projects include water taxi in the Ganga, Rudraksha Convention Centre, Ring Road, and the modernization of various medical and old traditional industries. The modernization of water management, sewage management, waste management and urban transportation, while conserving the rich heritage of Varanasi” and its religious sentiments are considered in the refurbishment of this site.
Earlier the temple area was only 3 000 square feet, it has now extended to about 500, 000 square feet. To facilitate tourism and ensure safety, the city has also been equipped with hundreds of CCTV cameras across 720 locations. During the inauguration, PM says that “Tyrants tried to destroy Kashi, but the city is now writing a new chapter of glory”. He said that Kashi has been the “centre of spiritual consciousness”. “And, now in a grand form will add energy to this consciousness,” The current structure of the temple was constructed by Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar around 1780, and in the 19th century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh had got it crowned with a golden ‘Shikhar’. He celebrated the occasion by showering flower petals on the labourers and craftsmen during the inauguration of the temple complex and had lunch with the workers involved in construction work at a hall in the complex. Kashi is soaked in thousands of years of Sanatan Hindu culture and has seen many ups and downs. The city is a true symbol of our antiquity, traditions, faith, as well as the glory of our past. Every Hindu would like to visit Kashi and pray to Lord Shiva after a dip in the Ganga, at least once in a lifetime. I visited Kashi a few times with my parents and other family members with a recent visit were in 2019. After seeing the restoration of glory to the ancient city on TV, now it will be my first priority to visit Kashi and pay darshan to Kashi Vishwanath, feel the pride of our roots and appreciate the efforts of people involved in restoring this glory.
Har Har Mahadev.