The inauguration of the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor on Monday was a matchless experience, said residents of the Hindu holy city of Varanasi basking in the festive glow on the occasion.
The famed lanes of Varanasi, its ghats, temples, intersections and bridges were lit up with festive lights. Its usually dirty roads and lanes were spotless. The locals lighted over 1.1 million earthen lamps at the ghats, lanes and in front of their houses, residents said.
“The Kashi Vishwanath Corridor’s inauguration was na bhuto, na bhavishyati (unparalleled) experience for us,” said Somnath Vishwakarma, a resident. “Baba Kashi Vishwanath is the centre of faith for crores of Hindus like us. The corridor, which is also known as Kashi Vishwanath Dham, is unique and so has been its inauguration.”
“With Baba Kashi Vishwanath’s blessings, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has built the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor project,” said Shailendra Mishra, a Bharatiya Janata Party worker deployed to make arrangements for the ceremony. “The project has added to the spiritual vibrancy of Kashi.” Varanasi is also known as Kashi, where the ruling deity is Lord Shiva, whose another name is Vishwanath.
“The Kashi Vishwanath Corridor and its unique features will transform the experience of the devotees visiting Kashi Vishwanath temple,” said Vijay Yadav, who visits the shrine daily to offer prayers.
Many people voluntarily decorated their houses with ornamental lights, he said, adding that the earthen lamps imparted a glow only seen during the festival of lights.
“The Kashi Vishwanath Corridor is grand, divine and unique,” said Ashwani Pandey, co-convenor of the month-long cultural programmes associated with the inauguration. “The entire country watched the inauguration of the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor. The inaugural ceremony was so grand that it left people enthralled. For us, it was once in a lifetime occasion.”
Devotees will now get a taste of spirituality and comfort when they visit the Kashi Vishwanath temple through the spacious corridor, said Pandey. The corridor will help increase the earnings of boatmen as many devotees will likely visit the Kashi Vishwanath temple by boat because the corridor has connected the temple with the Ganga, he said.
“Devotees may board a boat at any of the ghats and reach Kashi Vishwanath Dham while enjoying the scenic view of the ghats and the Ganga flowing calmly,” Pandey said. “The pilgrimage to Kashi will be an entirely new experience.”