In pics: PM Modi has lunch with workers who made Kashi Vishwanath Dham possible
New Delhi, Dec 13: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken a keen interest in the Kashi Vishwanath Temple Corridor Project. The project connects the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple and the ghats along the River Ganga.
Following the inauguration, the Prime Minister took time off to have lunch with the workers who made the Kashi Vishwanath Dham possible.
Earlier PM Modi 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.
PM Modi pays obeisance at the Kaal Bhairav Temple:
After arriving in the holy city, also his parliamentary constituency, Modi paid obeisance at the Kaal Bhairav Temple and then took dip in Ganga from where he collected holy water for worship at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
People chanted hymns as the prime minister's carcade rolled through the city. Modi also stopped at some places to accept felicitation.
Attends prayer ceremony:
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.
23 new buildings:
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 comes ahead of the assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh early next year.
The gateways and other structures have been built with stones and other material using traditional craftsmanship.
Pm Modi's vision:
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 dip in the holy river, collecting its water and offering it at the temple.
"To realise this vision, Shri Kashi Vishwanath Dham was conceptualised as a project to create an easily accessible pathway to connect Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple to the banks of the River Ganga," it said. The prime minister took a keen and active interest in all stages of the project.
Regular briefings, reviews and monitoring was done by him as he constantly gave inputs and insights to improve the project and make it more accessible for pilgrims, including the disabled, it added.
The new buildings will provide a variety of facilities to pilgrims, including 'yatri suvidha kendras', tourist facilitation centre, vedic kendra, mumukshu bhavan, bhogshala, city museum, viewing gallery, food court among others.
The project involved 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.