PM Modi opens Ujjain corridor to boost Mahakal temple glory

Updated on Oct 12, 2022 04:27 AM IST

Vermillion streaked across his forehead, PM Modi started and ended his speech leading the crowd in chants of Jai Shri Mahakal and called the new corridor “extraordinary and unbelievable”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi performs Darshan and Pooja at Shree Mahakaleshwar Temple, in Ujjain on Tuesday. (ANI Photo) (PIB)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi performs Darshan and Pooja at Shree Mahakaleshwar Temple, in Ujjain on Tuesday. (ANI Photo) (PIB)
By, Bhopal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the first phase of the 850 crore Mahakaleshwar Temple Corridor Development Project in Ujjain on Tuesday, saying that India was throwing off the shackles of colonial mentality in reclaiming its place as a world leader and its leadership will pave the way for world peace.

Watch: A look at grand Mahakal Lok corridor in Ujjain

With the Mahakaleshwar temple decked up in celebratory lights and decoration, Modi inaugurated the new corridor — named Shri Mahakal Lok — by pressing a remote and unveiled a 15-foot-high shivling at the main gate of the 250-year-old temple.

Vermillion streaked across his forehead, PM Modi started and ended his speech leading the crowd in chants of Jai Shri Mahakal and called the new corridor “extraordinary and unbelievable”.

“This Mahakal will encourage India’s tradition and culture and give it new life,” he said. “Where there is innovation, there will be renovation... in this period of Independence, India’s glory was being reconstructed.”

Modi said that the development of the new complex was a continuation of India reclaiming its cultural heritage and reasserting pride in its history. “India has thrown off the shackles of the mentality of the colonialism, and has reclaimed its pride in its history,” he added.

“Today a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya is being constructed with full speed and the Kashi Vishwanath Dham is increasing the pride of India’s cultural capital. Development in Somnath is touching new heights and in Uttarakhand, in Kedarnath and Badrinath, new horizons of development are being reached. For the first time after Independence, through the Char Dham project, they are being connected through better roads. For the first time after Independence, the Kartarpur Sahab corridor is being opened and Hemkunt Saheb is going to be connected through ropeway. In this same vein, the Mahakal Lok is ready to embrace the future,” he said.

Modi said that India’s cultural strength was rising again and the country was getting ready to once again guide the world. He said there were periods in history where India was attacked, but that the Mahakal Lok was a declaration of a new age of greatness.

“We have seen in the past that attempts were made, circumstances change and governments; India was exploited, and our freedom was taken away. Attackers like Iltutmish tried to destroy the glory of Ujjain. But our rishis have said at the feet of Mahakal Shiv, death cannot do anything to us… Ujjain for a thousand years was the centre of cultural India and is declaring India’s new age of greatness,” Modi said.

The first phase of the Mahakal corridor, which will be known as “Mahakal Lok”, has been constructed for 351 crores. The corridor has 76 idols of between nine and 18 feet height and about 110 small idols. The theme parks were constructed across 900 square metres to signify different mythological stories associated with Hindu god Shiva.

The PM said that the country was progressing in the fields of science, astronomy and defence. “In the same way, our youth, whether it is skills or sports or startups, they are moving ahead too. In every field, with new startups, with new unicorns, they are making India proud. But we have to remember that where there is innovation, there is also renovation. What we lost during colonial rule, India is renovating today. Our pride, our glory is being reconstructed. This will benefit the entire world, and India’s leadership will pave the way for peace in the world,” Modi said.

Modi referred to a visit to the Kumbh mela in Ujjain on the banks of the Shipra river in 2004, when he had envisaged the redevelopment of the temple. “When I had come to the Ujjain Kumbh, that feeling has become a reality. I congratulate those that made this come true,” he said.

The opposition Congress claimed credit for the corridor, asserting that work was approved and begun by the then Congress government in 2019. “Everybody knows the Congress approved 300 crore for the expansion of the Mahakaleshwar temple in 2019 but BJP leaders are busier in taking credit than showing faith on this historic day,” said former minister Jitu Patwari.

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan contested these claims and said that the decision to expand the corridor was taken in 2016. “The cabinet approved the expansion plan in 2018 and work was stalled for a few months in 2019 and 2020 but resumed in 2021. We are happy that the first phase got completed this quickly,” he said.

On Tuesday, speaking just before PM Modi after showing him the newly developed complex, Chouhan said, “The blind cannot see and the deaf cannot hear but I am seeing that Bharat Mata is standing on her feet again, and is becoming a Vishwa Guru. Our beloved Modiji has taken our Yoga, Ayurveda and Ayush to the world. A respected, powerful India is being constructed under his leadership and we are fortunate that we are witness to these moments.”

Senior Madhya Pradesh officials said the redevelopment project will increase the temple premises eight times. Ujjain district collector Asheesh Singh said, “The Mahakal Lok has been constructed with 15,000 tonne of stone from Rajasthan. A 384-meter-long mural wall has been built with a total of 81 murals across the campus. The walls have 25 different stories of Lord Shiva.”

Rudrasagar, a lake that abuts the temple, has also been rejuvenated. “This had become a drain with the sewerage of twelve thousand homes falling directly into the pond without any treatment. A separate line has now been constructed for the sewer and the lake itself has been filled with clean water, and a regular supply from the river Shipra has been established,” Singh said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    She is a senior reporter based at Bhopal. She covers higher education, social issues, youth affairs, woman and child development related issues, sports and business & industries.

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