March 30, 2023

VARANASI: An anonymous donor has donated 60-kg gold to Kashi Vishwanath Temple, of which 37-kg has been used to decorate the inner walls of the sanctum sanctorum.
Though the pilgrims visiting the temple got glimpses of the glitter of the yellow metal while offering prayers through ‘jharokha darshan’ (seeing the deity from outside the doors) with the beginning of the gold plating work, the world knew about it when Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered prayer at KVT’s sanctum sanctorum and the visuals were released by the temple administration.
Regarding the latest golden facelift, divisional commissioner Deepak Agrawal on Monday said, “The temple has received 60-kg gold from an anonymous donor. Of it, 37-kg has been used for the gold covering of the inner walls of the sanctum sanctorum. Remaining 23-kg gold will be used for covering the lower portion of the golden dome of the main KVT structure.”
The donor had come in contact with the temple authorities months before the formal opening of Kashi Vishwanath Dham by the PM on December 13, 2021. Following his offer of donation, the temple authorities had also finalised the plan that the donated gold would be used for gold plating of the inner wall of the sanctum sanctorum and also the lower portion of the main temple dome.
Agrawal said, “A Delhi-based firm was engaged to complete this work. The artisans of the firm did casting of the artistic walls of the sanctum sanctorum with copper sheets. After fixing it with the wall, the process of gold plating was done,” said Agrawal.
This is the second major work of gold covering of any part of the temple after the 18th century.
As per the history of KVT, following the reconstruction of the temple by Indore’s queen Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar in 1777, Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab had donated about one ton gold, which was used for covering two domes of KVT.
After the 18th century, the major work for expanding the shrine area of KVT was ensured by the Prime Minister Modi after the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government was formed in the state in 2017.
The project of over Rs 900-crore was launched in the name of KV Dham (corridor), under which over 300 buildings were purchased and removed to expand the shrine area from 2,700 sq ft to 5 lakh sq ft by giving it a direct connectivity with the river Ganga through Jalasen, Manikarnika and Lalita ghats.

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