For the first time, religious tourism has gained ground in Kashi Vishwanath Dham. This is evident from the number of devotees scaling up on the first day of the new year 2022.

A report by the news agency PTI claims that the renovated temple complex which was recently inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi saw a record footfall on the first day of the new year with over five lakh devotees thronging the holy place. 

The PTI report is based on data provided by PTI’s “official sources” on Sunday. 

“Even on Mahashivratri, considered the most auspicious day to visit the temple in Varanasi, the devotees' numbers never exceeded 2.5 lakh”, PTI quotes these officials as saying.

“Local administration was up for a surprise on January 1 when more than 5 lakh people thronged the Kashi Vishwanath temple. For them, this number was unprecedented. They were expecting a best-case number of not more than 1 lakh," PTI quotes “ a source” as saying.

The local administration in Varanasi is now requesting devotees, especially VIPs, to stagger their visit to the Dham to ensure proper crowd management.

Incidentally, prime minister Narendra Modi had last month inaugurated the first phase of the Kashi Vishwanath Dham, a project which is spread over five lakh square feet and connects the temple premises to the River Ganga besides providing several facilities to devotees, states PTI report.

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