Pilgrimage to Dakshineswar is expected to get smoother by March next year with the state government approving a makeover of the traffic and transportation plan for the temple complex. Dakshineswar, which draws lakhs of pilgrims from India and abroad every year, is still quite hard to reach. The government has lined up three major projects—improving traffic at Netaji Island, building a jetty at Dakshineswar to provide an alternative mode of transport, and erecting 11 bus shelters for better passenger dispersal and the comfort of pilgrims.
The revamp is aimed at developing an approach way of international standard for the pilgrims from all across the world to this spiritual retreat. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is keen to provide the best of amenities at spiritual centres of all religions. Once the Dakshineswar project is executed, pilgrims will not only find it easier to access the temple complex but also go back with a pleasant experience."
The Dakshineswar temple complex is located opposite Belur Math, the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission, an association founded by Ramakrishna's disciple, Swami Vivekananda, in 1897.
While Belur Math is accessible by ferry, Dakshineswar is not. By next March, however, pilgrims and tourists can take a boat from the temple to Belur Math. This will put Dakshineswar on the river cruise circuit. Work is expected to start in January 2014 and get over in a couple of months, said sources.
The road leading to the temple has to be renovated. Half of it is heavily encroached and garbage lies rotting on either side of the road. The government plans to relocate the hawkers to widen the road. Fountains and statues of Maa Sharada and Netaji will be built on the landscaped roadsides. The sidewalks will be re-laid and widened with pavers' block as thousands of pilgrims approach the temple complex on foot.
The reconstruction of drainage, widening of road and landscaping of the island will cost Rs 25 lakh. The temple trust, in association with Botanical Survey of India, has already spruced up Panchavati and the hutment used by Sri Ramakrishna for his spiritual quests.
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