This ancient holy city has been decked up like a bride and simultaneously converted into a veritable citadel as it awaits Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s arrival later Tuesday for the express purpose of dedicating to the people the maiden phase of Shri Mahakal Lok during a grand ceremony on the world-renowned Mahakaleshwar temple premises.
It will be the second prime ministerial visit to Madhya Pradesh in less than a month as Mr Modi was in Kuno National Park on September 17 – his birthday – when he formally released Namibian cheetahs, an event that made world headlines.
In the words of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, “Shri Mahakal Lok is a remarkable place where one will have the privilege of witnessing various forms of Lord Shankar. The cherished dream we saw in 2017 is finally transforming into beautiful reality. Keeping in mind the sheer splendour; glorious traditions; religious, cultural and historical significance of this mythological destination, the effective development plan made by the state dispensation for the region’s overall development, is taking shape.”
It was officially learnt that the Prime Minister will arrive by helicopter from Indore where an IAF plane carrying him is scheduled to touch down at 1630 hrs. He shall offer worship at the Mahakaleshwar shrine at 1725 hrs and address a public function at the Kartik Mela Ground – after dedicating Shri Mahakal Lok – from 1825 to 1905 hrs.
Dozens of IPS officers and thousands of personnel under their command are part of the security bandobast.
The Lok is being created on the lines of the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor at an estimated expenditure of Rs 800 crore. In the first phase; Rudrasagar, Harsiddha Temple, Char Dham Temple, Vikram Tila, etc have been developed by incurring an expense of Rs 350 cr in which the work of Mahakal Plaza, Mahakal Corridor, Mid-way Zone, Mahakal Theme Park, Ghat and DAC Area, Nutan School Complex and Ganesh School Complex are included. A 200-m-long walkway boasts a 25-ft-high and 500-m-long mural wall. As many as 108 Shiva pillars, each with its own unique aura, have been erected with different mudras of Mahadev depicting Ananda Tandava. Idols have been installed along the Mahakal path. Wall paintings are based on stories from the Shiva Purana. A lotus pond, an open air theatre, a lake front area and routes for e-rickshaws and other vehicles have also been made.
The second phase is scheduled to be completed in 2023-24. The Maharajwada complex shall be developed and old relics included in the form of the Kumbh Museum.