One of the most ancient in the world, Varanasi is all set to receive a major facelift as the building of Kashi Vishwanath Temple Corridor gathers momentum. Spread over an area of 39,000 square metres with an investment of Rs 700 crore, the corridor will link the ancient shrine and one of the 12 Jyotirlinga Temples to the famous ghats in Varanasi.
Hailed as a pet project of PM Modi, the foundation stone was laid by the PM himself on March 8, 2019. The city of Varanasi is undergoing the first major transformation since 1780 AD. Earlier the Maratha Queen Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore had gentrified the temple and the surrounding areas.
As the process to build the corridor is set in motion, huge swathes of buildings flanking the narrow lanes leading to ghats and temples have been demolished. The clearing process has resulted in a discovery of 40 temples in the area, which were until now obscured by the buildings and structures in the region. PM Modi has said that these temples will be preserved for public darshan.
To reclaim the cultural heritage of a city that is the epicentre of Hinduism and Hindu mythology, it was imperative for the government to exhibit a strong will to destroy the structures around the Kashi Temple, and in doing so it has embodied the role of Lord Shiva- The Destroyer. CEO of the corridor project has asserted that due compensation has been given granted to all ‘legal rights holders’.
Many residents were pleasantly surprised to find the existence of 40 temples which were hitherto concealed under the sprawling resident and commercial structures in the region. Most of them appeared to have approved of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple corridor and feel that the construction of the corridor will enable more Tourist visits and pave the way for modernisation of the city.