New Delhi, Dec 12 (EFE).- Indian prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated the construction of a corridor to connect the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple in the Holy city of Varanasi with the river Ganges, a massive project estimated to cost over $105 million.
“The Kashi Vishwanath Complex is a reflection of our culture, tradition and progress. When you come here it is not only for faith that brings your here, this is also a place where you will take pride in the past and witness how the ancient and the present are intermingling,” Modi said during the inauguration ceremony.
The prime minister carried out a series of rituals and prayers while standing in the waters of the holy river, and referred to the temple as a symbol of resilience and glory for Hindus, which has stood tall despite attempts to destroy their religious history.
The completed first phase of the project required an investment of around 3.4 billion rupees (around $45 million) and included the construction of 23 buildings, including a museum, a tourist center and various restoration projects.
Over 40 ancient temples of the city have been restored so far.
The mega-project, initially launched in 2019, will have a total area of around 46 square kilometers and help decongest the narrow streets of the holy city of Varanasi for pilgrims who want to take a dip in the Ganges
The government has acquired over 300 properties around the temple in order to convert them into sites that would improve the visitors’ experience.
During his visit, Modi bathed in the holy waters of the Ganges and visited the Kashi Vishwanath temple to offer prayers.
“This whole new complex of Vishwanath Dham is not just a grand building. This is a symbol of the Sanatan (eternal) culture of our India, our spiritual soul and India’s antiquity and traditions,” the prime minister said in his speech.
Hundreds of devotees were present on the occasion and cheered the leader has he passed them.