PM Narendra Modi inaugurates Shri Kashi Vishwanath Dham project

Varanasi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated phase 1 of Kashi Vishwanath Dham amid chants of ‘Har Har Mahadev’. In his inaugural speech, the PM said, “Kashi is a symbol of our spiritual soul! It is a symbol of India’s antiquity, traditions! India’s energy, mobility.”

“It is said in our Puranas that as soon as one enters Kashi, one becomes free from all bondage. Blessings of Lord Vishweshwara, supernatural energy that awakens our inner soul as soon as we come here. Right now, along with Baba, I am also coming after seeing the city Kotwal Kalbhairav Ji, bringing his blessings for the countrymen,” the PM, who began his address by chanting ”Har Har Mahadev,” said.

Explaining the grandeur of this ancient city, PM Modi said, ”Kashi is Kashi! Kashi is imperishable. There is only one government in Kashi, of the one who has ‘damru’ in his hands.”

The PM also lauded the UP government and CM Yogi Adityanath for the project. “Along with all this, I also congratulate the UP government, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who worked day and night to complete the Kashi Vishwanath Dham project,” the PM said.

The Prime Minister reached the Kaal Bhairav temple first and offered elaborate prayers. ‘Kaal Bhairav’ is known as the first deity of Varanasi and also known as ‘Kashi ke Kotwal.’

PM Modi then went to the banks of the Ganga river and braving the December chill waded into waist deep waters to take the holy dip. He offered prayers to the Sun God and the Ganga River. He also collected the waters of the holy river for the `Jal Abhishek` at the temple.

Locals gave a rousing welcome to Modi, showering flower petals and raising slogans of ‘Modi, Modi’ and ‘Har Har Mahadev’. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi then inaugurated phase 1 of Kashi Vishwanath Dham, constructed at a cost of around Rs 339 crores.

The buildings will provide a variety of facilities to the pilgrims visiting the temple, including tourist facilitation center, Vedic kendra, Mumukshu bhavan, bhojshala, city museum, viewing gallery, food court, among others.

The project, whose foundation stone was laid by the Prime Minister in 2019, connects the main temple with Lalita Ghat. Grand gateways and ornamental arches have been built in heritage architecture style in four directions, facing the ancient temple at its core.

The project involved the purchase and acquisition of more than 300 properties around the temple. Nearly 1,400 shopkeepers, tenants and homeowners were rehabilitated amicably to pave way for the construction. Around Rs 450 crore was spent on the purchase of buildings.

During the demolition of buildings to pave the way for the project in 2018, over 40 ancient temples were found buried under the layers of concrete and plaster. They have now been conserved and made part of the project.

The project is now spread over a massive area of about five lakh square feet while the earlier premise was limited to just around 3,000 square feet.

The architect of the project is Bimal Patel, who is also in charge of the Central Vista redevelopment project in New Delhi. He said that without tampering with the original structure of the temple, beautification work was carried out and world-class facilities had been put in place.

About 70 per cent of the 5.50 lakh square feet area of the project has been kept for green cover. Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi since 2014, has been decorated ahead of the mega event titled `Divya Kashi, Bhavya Kashi`.

Image courtesy of (Image courtesy: The Week)

Share this post