The Kashi Vishwanath Corridor, which connects Varanasi’s famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple to the Ganga ghats, was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The corridor, claimed to be the PM’s dream project, spans 5,000 hectares and aims to ease congestion and alter the temple complex. The Rs-800-crore initiative was initiated to restore the “lost glory” of the spiritual hub.
PM Modi had long desired to improve conditions for tourists and worshipers who had to endure the temple’s congested streets and surroundings.
The project highlights
The Kashi Vishwanath temple needed easy accessibility to the Ganga. Therefore a 20-foot wide corridor was planned to link Lalita Ghat on the sacred river to Mandir Chowk on the temple grounds.
The Prime Minister inaugurated stage 1 of the project, which cost approximately Rs 339 crore. A total of 23 structures, including a Bhogshala, Tourist Facilitation Centre, City Museum, Mumukshu Bhavan, Food Court, and Viewing Gallery, are planned.
The development of Varanasi’s infrastructure is projected to enhance tourism in the ancient city as well as the surrounding region, including the Buddhist pilgrimage site at Sarnath.
Rudraksha Convention Centre, constructed in the shape of a Shiva lingam, can accommodate 1,200 people and features an art gallery. Tourists will be able to take Ganga cruises and the Banaras train station.
LED screens will give travelers information on Kashi’s history, architecture, and art. The city screens would show the famous Ganga Aarti along with the pooja aarti of the Kashi Vishwanath temple.
A market center, i.e., Deen Dayal Hastkala Sankul for crafters, weavers, and artisans in Varanasi, provides a marketing platform to local craftspeople.
Officials claim the PM insisted on preserving existing heritage structures.
During the dismantling of the structures, more than 40 ‘lost’ temples, such as the Manokameshwar Mahadev temple, the Gangeshwar Mahadev temple, the Shri Kumbha Mahadev temple, and the Jauvinayak temple, were uncovered. Each of the temples has a long history.
A gallery has been dedicated to displaying some of the unearthed relics at the National Museum of New Delhi and running a narrative about their history on screens nearby.
In Varanasi, “smart signage” has been installed to offer information on the cultural value of heritage monuments and the city’s 84 ghats, which are noted for their ancient and architectural significance.