Temple architecture

The modern era temple builder

The Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi.


  • Nehru’s aversion to temple reconstruction was well known
  • Despite its opposition, India has embarked on the reconstruction and renovation of the Somnath temple.
  • At the time of his inauguration, Nehru even attempted to prevent Dr Rajendra Prasad from going

“न मैं यहाँ आया हूँ न यहाँ लाया गया हूँ मुझे माँ गंगा ने बुलाया है” (I also did not come here, and I was not brought here. I was summoned by Mother Ganges) – with these words, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had set foot in Varanasi as a guardian in the temple of democracy.

The oldest surviving city in the world has been in dire need of infrastructure help for years as it has been neglected for decades. The neglect was compounded by the fact that the “big old party” had an inexplicable contempt for temple cities. Ignored by previous governments, it seriously damaged the spiritual pride of the country and greatly contributed to its decline in previous decades. Much of the reason lies in the events following the efforts of KM Munshi to restore the Sri Somnath Temple.

“Reconstruction of Somanatha was then only a nebulous dream of a habitual dreamer” – these words of the late KM Munshi transformed a largely regional problem of the Sri Somnath temple into one of national and Hindu pride.

Nehru’s aversion to rebuilding temples was well known. It is clear from his comments to Munshi: “I don’t like you trying to restore Somnath. It is Hindu revivalism.

But, despite its opposition, India has embarked on the reconstruction and renovation of the Somnath temple. At the time of his inauguration, Nehru even tried to stop Dr Rajendra Prasad from going, but he failed. Although the Sri Somnath Temple has been restored, it remained the only restoration effort for a very long time, and the situation only began to change after the arrival of PM Modi.

When the Prime Minister lands in Kashi on Monday, he will do so with immense satisfaction in his heart for having kept a promise he made in 2019.

When Prime Minister Modi laid the foundation for the corridor on March 8, 2019, he said: “पता नहीं शायद भोले बाबा ने तय भोले बाबा का आदेश कहो, कि आज वो सपना साकार होने का रहा है। (Maybe Lord Shiva had to decide and say ‘Son, come here and deliver your promises.’ You could also call it an instruction from Lord Shiva, or His blessings, but the sacred work has started today) .

Although at the time of conceptualization it was considered an almost impossible project, given the topography of the area and the dense presence of the population that resided there, every inch of space was covered with a structure. or another. The acquisition of property was therefore a major obstacle.

Prime Minister Modi called on officials to ensure that everyone is supported through constant dialogue. The PM called on officials to take a flexible and patient approach and give time to resolve any grievances. This approach allowed the project to be litigation-free. This voluntary offer of their land by around 400 families freed up the land for the project.

Over the past two years and nine months, the Prime Minister has guided this project in every way he can, and the Kashi Vishwanath Dham Project therefore has a distinct imprint of PM Modi.

His contributions guided the entire process – from design to architecture and installations to land acquisition. He ensured that Kashi Vishwanath emerges as a litigation-free model project while ensuring state-of-the-art architecture and facilities.

It was designed according to his vision of making Kashi Vishwanath user-friendly, so that they can worship Lord Shiva according to tradition while providing them with modern amenities.

Not only did PM provide a vision for the project, but he also ensured that it ended in a timely and orderly fashion with his regular follow-up and advice. Even during the pandemic, when he was unable to physically visit Kashi to monitor progress, the PM held video conferences with the administration to review the progress. He observed the progress of the project through a drone.

Also during the pandemic, the PM had a mock-up of the Kashi Vishwanath built in his residence to review the project.

From Kashi to Ayodhya via Kedarnath and many others, Prime Minister Modi, fully aware of the need to make modernity and development of the country coincide with spiritual awakening, has embarked on reconstruction and renovation of the temple, and it will be one of the heirlooms he wears the most after the end of his political sleeves.