LUCKNOW: Get ready for a gala inauguration of the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor on December 13 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch his dream project. The ceremony will be aired live in 20,000 temples across the country.
The PM will reach the venue on a boat via the holy Ganga to inaugurate the project worth over Rs 700-crore. The three-day extravaganza that will follow on December 12, 13 and 14 will be celebrated like Diwali and Dev Deepawali with huge participation by people of Varanasi.
Direct access to the Kashi Vishwanath Dham temple from the side of river Ganga has become possible with the completion of the project that had started in March 2019.
Moreover, Kashi Vishwanath Dham, the favourite abode of Lord Shiva, is set to emerge as a symbol of nationality too in the near future as the state government intends to install idols of Bharat Mata, Rani Ahilyabai, Kartikeya and Adi Shankaracharya on its premises. Bharat Mata's statue will be placed in the middle of Ganga.
Besides inaugurating the Kashi Vishwanath corridor, the PM will also address a convention of BJP-ruled chief ministers and deputy chief ministers in Kashi on December 13-14.
According to the Varanasi divisional commissioner Deepak Agarwal, residents in the city were asked to decorate their homes and create a festive environment so that visitors will carry back the "good image of Kashi" and spread the message across the globe.
Special decorations of ghats and prominent buildings of Kashi will be done as part of the 'Bhavya Kashi, Divya Kashi' programme on December 13.
The Varanasi administration has also decided to give cash awards for the best decorated commercial complexes, hotels and government buildings. After December 13, there will be a door-to-door distribution of 'prasad' of Kashi Vishwanath temple and a booklet on the history of the temple. Officials said various programmes will be organised to celebrate Diwali and Dev Deepawali on December 12, 13 and 14 as part of the inaugural ceremony.
Divisional commissioner Deepak Agrawal, who has been camping at the site, said the PM was expected to reach Kashi Vishwanath temple via Ganga on December 13 and enter the project area from Jalasen Ghat, the entry point of the corridor at the river bank. After reaching the Kashi Vishwanath Dham campus, he would perform the rituals of opening this ambitious project at Mandir Chowk.
He expressed confidence that all the remaining work, including the ramp and viewpoint from where people could see the Kashi Vishwanath temple on one side and river Ganga on the opposite, will also be finished by December 10.
The commissioner said that a jetty in river Ganga was constructed while work on finishing the ramp was in progress. The entry point of Kashi Vishwanath had many other features including the Manikarnika gate, Jalasen entrance point, a Ganga view gallery, cafeteria and public utilities, which were added later to this project and will be completed in the second phase.
"The second phase work is also likely to be completed by January-end," said the commissioner.
The project had been initiated by CM Yogi Adityanath after the formation of his government in 2017. The PM laid the foundation of the mega project on March 8, 2019.
The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is believed to have been built as Vishveshwar temple by Hari Chandra in 11th century. It was destroyed several times by invaders like Qutubuddin Aibak, Mohammad Ghauri, Firoz Shah Tughlaq and Aurangzeb in the past.
In 1780, the temple was reconstructed on land adjacent to the masjid by Rani Ahilyabai Holkar and in 1836, Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab had donated gold for the temple.