The newly inaugurated Kashi Vishwanath Dham Corridor connects the famous eponymous temple with ghats of the Ganga River in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi.
The first phase of the much-awaited Kashi Vishwanath Dham Corridor was finally inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi with great pomp and show, making the mega facelift of the sacred site talk of the town. And why not? The whopping ₹339 crore-project spreads across an area of about 5 lakh square feet and comprises 23 buildings with facilities like Yatri Suvidha Kendras, a tourists facilitation centre, an emporium, a city museum, a sacred kitchen, a Vedic library, a viewing gallery, and a food court, among others.
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The Kashi Vishwanath Dham Corridor is aimed at transforming pilgrims’ experience of the temple town. The showpiece of the project is restoration of the link between the ghats of holy Ganga and the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, an ancient connection that had been cut off by years of encroachment, construction, and population. Visitors can expect state-of-the-art amenities, walls with Sanskrit shlokas inscribed on them, overhanging eaves, and a gallery storing ancient scriptures. The corridor will enable pilgrims to take a boat from any of Varanasi’s numerous ghats to the sprawling new entrance to the temple complex built at the confluence of the Lalita and Jalasen ghats.
The entire project, foundation stone for which was laid in 2019, will cost about ₹800 crore in total. Over 300 properties have been acquired to implement the grand plan, and over 1,400 shopkeepers, tenants, and homeowners have been rehabilitated in the process so far. Not to forget, more than 40 ancient temples were rediscovered and restored, without altering the original structures.