Mahakal project: Heritage dharamshala in ‘Maharajwada’; ‘Shikhar Darshan’ in second phase


PTI, Oct 11, 2022, 4:36 PM IST

Image credit: PTI

A 40-room dharamshala with a five-star hotel-like facility is being developed in a heritage building located near the Mahakaleshwar Temple as part of the second phase of the mega corridor development project, a top official has said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to inaugurate its first phase — ‘Mahakal Lok’ — on Tuesday evening amid a festive mood in Ujjain, located around 200 km from the state capital Bhopal.

The Rs, 856-crore project, under the Ujjain Smart City, started in 2017 and in five years the entire landscape has undergone a sea change. ”While the PM will inaugurate the first phase of the ambitious Mahakal corridor project on October 11 evening, work on the second phase is already underway. We are on track and by June 2023 the entire project is to be completed,” Chief Executive Officer of Ujjain Smart City, Ashish Kumar Pathak told PTI.

Asked about the second phase of the project, he said, it involves the creation of a ‘Shikhar Darshan’, a vista that will offer a clear and obstruction-free view of the “temple’s ‘shikhar’ (pinnacle) with aesthetic landscaping”.

”We are also working on setting up a heritage dharamshala in an old building, ‘Maharajwada’ that is located near the Mahakaleshwar Temple. The building is about 100 years old and offers a close and stunning view of the temple. This will be a 40-room heritage dharamshala with five-star hotel-like facilities,” he said.

Besides this, there is an open space of five-and-a-half acres in its front, where facilities like ‘Chintan Van’, ‘Anubhuti Van’, and meditation centre will come up, Pathak added.

A high school for girls was earlier running in the Maharajwada building, another senior official said.

Pathak said nine schools were located in the vicinity of the temple, and as part of the project, about 3,500 students were integrated into three schools for which new buildings were created with smart classrooms and other facilities. MP MyGov on Saturday had on Twitter shared some of the photographs and videos of the ‘Mahakal Lok’ and in one poster it shared that the first phase of the corridor project has been built at a cost of Rs 350 cr while the cost for its second phase is estimated at Rs 450 cr.

Ram Ghat on Kshipra River bank will also be developed as part of the second phase of the project, officials said.

A large number of households in Begum Bagh area which adjoins the new corridor were affected by the project, and compensation was duly awarded, they said. Asked about the status of the second phase of the project, Pathak said, ”It is on track, all tenders have been floated, work orders issued, and all agencies on board.” ”Our team has continuously worked, sometimes at night, without affecting the flow of devotees,” he further said.

The first phase includes an over 900-m-long corridor — ‘Mahakal Lok’, billed as one of the largest such corridors in India that skirts around the old Rudrasagar Lake. The lake has also been revived as part of the overall redevelopment project around the Mahakaleshwar Temple, one of the 12 ‘jyotirlings’ in the country that gets devotees throughout the year.

The new corridor is dotted with 108 ornate sandstone columns bearing decorative ‘Trishul’ (tridents) on top and ‘mudras’ (symbolic hand gesture) of Lord Shiva on its faces, gushing fountains surrounded by sculptures of the deity and 53 illuminated murals depicting stories from Shiv Puran.

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