Kashi Vishwanath Corridor is PM Narendra Modi’s dream project for his parliamentary constituency Varanasi. Kashi or Varanasi shares the dual honour of being one of the oldest cities in the world as well as one that holds a lot of religious significance for Hindus. Famous for its narrow lanes and over 80 ghats (river banks), the city is thronged by pilgrims and tourists every year. Kashi Vishwanath Corridor project is moving ahead and will soon transform the ancient city, almost two centuries after Queen Ahalyabai Holkar of Indore redeveloped parts of the temple and the city. Apart for many facilities for the pilgrims, the corridor area will also have its own radio service called Radio Damru.
Varanasi Development Authority’s Secretary and Kashi Vishwanath Corridor Project’s CEO Vishal Singh told Financial Express Online about starting Radio Damru in Kashi Vishwanathan Corridor. He said that not just Bhajans and devotional song but other programmes organised on a daily basis would also be aired on Radio Damru. Through the community radio service on Radio Damru, Temple Aartis will be aired live, he said. “We intend to make the service multilingual in order to cater to the diverse nature of pilgrims who throng the temple from different parts of the world and the country. It will be available on the internet as well and ensure that a live temple experience is available to anyone outside Varanasi as well,” Singh added.
Known as the location of one of the seven puris ( seven holy cities) and 12 jyotirlingas Varanasi’s Kashi Vishwanathan Jyotirlinga Temple is its top attraction. In 1780 it got renovated by the Holkar Queen of Indore Rani Ahalyabai. Warren Hastings, the first governor-general of India ordered Naubat Khana’s installation at the entrance of the temple. The temple was further enhanced through gold plating on its shikhara by Sikh King Maharaja Ranjeet Singh in 1839. Uttar Pradesh government took over the temple’s administration in 1983. They also set up a trust committee to look after its welfare. PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the Kashi Vishwanathan Corridor project on March 8, 2019.
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The project has been divided into three phases until now. In the first, the Kashi Vishwanathan Corridor project temple complex will get redeveloped. The second will have the upgradation of Ganga River banks Ghats.
In the third phase connecting areas like Lalita Ghat and Nepali Temple, the front of Scindia Ghat and Manikarnika Ghat and Jalasen Ghat will be developed. Thus, upgradation of the one-kilometre long area will allow easy movement of tourists and pilgrims from Ghats to the temple. The corridor will have facilities like community halls, shops, ved-vigyanshala, yagyashala, Mumukshu Bhawan, help desks, offices, museum among others. Radio Damru will add to the long list of services for the pilgrims.