Claiming Kashi, Varanasi, Benaras; one brick at a time

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Modi is a proud adopted sone of Kashi and mother has given all his blessings, getting elected twice from the consistency, he has to full his promises of Kashi from an apathy full of past.

A little reflection on history tells you, how Mughal destroyed the holy city and its templates repeatedly.

Varanasi (or Benares, Banaras, Kashi), on the left bank of the Ganges, is one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus. Among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, its early history is that of the first Aryan settlement in the middle Ganges valley. By late 2nd millennium BCE, Varanasi was a seat of Aryan religion and philosophy and a commercial and industrial center famous for its muslin and silk fabrics, perfumes, ivory works, and sculpture.

Varanasi declined during the early centuries of Muslim rule in India, from 1194. Its temples were destroyed and its scholars fled to other parts of India. In the 16th century, Akbar brought some relief to the city’s religious and cultural activities. Setbacks came again during the reign of Aurangzeb.

It was reported that “according to the Emperor’s command, his officers had demolished the Temple of Vishwanath at Kashi.” (Maasir-i-‘Alamgiri, p. 88). After the destruction of the Temple on Aurangzeb’s orders, a mosque was built which still stands there as a testimony of the great tolerance and spirit of forgiveness of the Hindus.

A portion of the sculpture of the demolished temple, probably built in the late 16th century, still survives to tell the fate of Aurangzeb’s vandalism and barbarity. The present temple of Vishveshvara was built by Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore. While the destruction of the past has been immense, we still see encroachment and demolitions all around, it is estimated that over 40 temples near Kashi Vishwanath temple have been taken over by people.

Narendra Modi, the son has a responsibility to take Kashi to glorious days. in March 2018, Prime Minister laid the foundation of 600 cr project to create Kashi Vishwanath Corridor. Salient features of the project:

  1. An approximately over 50-feet corridor will directly connect Ganga’s Manikarnika and Lalita Ghat to the Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga Temple
  2. The riverfront will upgrade ghats on Ganga river
  3. The corridor will have waiting rooms for the pilgrims to rest
  4. On the way, pilgrims and travelers will see a newly built museum and auditorium depicting Varanasi’s ancient history and culture
  5. There will be new Yagyashalas for religious functions like Havan and Yagya
  6. The Kashi Vishwanath corridor will reportedly have lodgings for priests, volunteers, and pilgrims
  7. The inquiry center at the corridor will help the tourists about the city and its other places of attractions and amenities
  8. Just before the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, the corridor will culminate in a big, majestic square
  9. Food street which will serve tourists and pilgrims luscious Banarasi and Awadhi dishes
  10. A new Bhogshala will be constructed for offerings to the presiding deity
  11. For gatherings, meetings and temple functions, an auditorium will be constructed which will facilitate these events

Other noticeable changes have done in Kashi but the focus must stay to get Kashi Vishwanath to its new glory.

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