The renovated ‘Khidkiya ghat’, popularly known as ‘Namo ghat’ because of three large sculptures in the form of hands folded in ‘namaste’, will soon emerge as a major tourist destination here, an official said on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi may inaugurate the renovated ghat in his Lok Sabha constituency soon, according to the official.
The ₹34-crore project which is nearing completion, will become the 85th ghat in Varanasi.
“It is in sync with modernity while the traditional ethos has been maintained,” the official said. The ghat is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for the tourists. A cafeteria, platforms, paintings on the walls showcasing heritage of Kashi are there. The ghat will help decongest Dashashwamedh Ghat, he said.
The sculptures of folded hands greeting the sun had become the new identity of the ghat. The two statues, one 25-feet-tall and another smaller one 15-feet-tall, were salutation to the Ganga, he said. “There is also a proposal to install a similar 75-feet-tall metal sculpture at the ghat,” he added.
Dr D Vasudevan, chief general manager of Varanasi Smart City, said the ghat was being developed in an area of about 21,000 square metres. He said the project is in line with the prime minister’s vision of ‘Make in India’ and ‘Vocal for Local’ initiatives.
Here tourists would get a view of Subah-e-Banaras and can participate in the famous Ganga aarti, he said.
In addition, they would be able to enjoy water adventure activities and have space for walking, exercising, and yoga, the chief general manager said.
There will also be an open theatre, library, food court serving Banarasi cuisine, a multipurpose platform to organise various events and a helipad, he said.
A ramp, right up to the river, has been built for people with disabilities and the elderly.
Kashi Vishwanath Dham tickets for ‘Sugam Darshan’ would also be available here and pilgrims would get the facility to go to Kashi Vishwanath Dham by boat from the jetty, he said.
A floating CNG station for CNG boats has also been built at the ghat to make Ganga pollution-free. There would also be a facility to visit other nearby cities through a cruise, he said.
(with inputs from PTI)