Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, 13 December, inaugurated the first phase of the renovated Kashi Vishwanath corridor in his constituency, Varanasi. Later in the evening he also took part in the Ganga Aarti at Ravidas Ghat in Varanasi.
"A new chapter has been written in the history of Kashi Vishwanath. The premises is not only a grand monument but also a symbol of India's Sanatan culture and traditions," PM Modi said while addressing the gathering. "The inauguration of Kashi Vishwanath Dham will give a decisive direction to India, will lead to a brighter future. This complex is a witness of our capability, of our duty," said PM Modi.
PM Modi and Uttar Pradesh (UP) Chief Minister (CM) Yogi Adityanath later had lunch with the workers involved in the construction work of Kashi Vishwanath corridor. The two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders also inspected the corridor and took a boat ride from Lalita Ghat to Ravidas Ghat.
Earlier, in his speech, PM Modi said that the Kashi Vishwanath temple premises, which was only around 3,000 square feet, had now become about 5 lakh square feet and could accommodate 50,000 to 75,000 devotees daily.
He went on to say that tyrants tried to destroy Varanasi but it remained as sultanates rose and fell.
"Kashi has seen history and its ups and downs. So many sultanates came and went away but this place has been here. History has seen the torture of Aurangzeb, who tried to kill culture with radicalism. But in this country an Aurangzeb is matched by a Shivaji," PM Modi said.
In his address, PM Modi also urged the nation to take three resolutions, not for themselves but the country — cleanliness, creation, and innovation, and continuous efforts to create a self-reliant India.
"We are in the 75th year of Independence. We have to work now on how India will be when we celebrate 100 years of independence," PM Modi said.
He added that today's India is reviving its lost heritage.
PM Modi Offers Prayers at Temples in Varanasi
PM Modi reached Varanasi on Monday morning and offered prayers to Lord Shiva at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Ahead of the inauguration, he also offered prayers at the Kaal Bhairav temple.
The prime minister, who was given a rousing welcome by locals in Varanasi, also took a holy dip in the Ganga.
Ahead of his address, PM Modi showered flowers on the construstion workers who worked for the corridor.
Ahead of the inauguration, PM Modi tweeted on Sunday, 12 December, and said:
"Tomorrow (Monday), 13 December is a landmark day. At a special programme in Kashi, the Shri Kashi Vishwanath Dham project will be inaugurated. This will add to Kashi's spiritual vibrancy. I would urge you all to join tomorrow's programme."
Visuals of the site are already doing the rounds on the internet.
Nearly 3,000 saints, seers, and various dignitaries are reportedly in attendance at the event.