The Govardhan town in Mathura district will be the first among the 12 destinations, spread across five states, to get a facelift as part of the government’s ‘Krishna Circuit’. The blueprint of the Krishna Circuit was revealed in a meeting in Mathura, chaired by Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma, in which local MLA, priests and several civil society groups participated, apart from ministry officials. During the meeting, an aerial design of a refurbished Govardhan was presented by noted architect, Anup Bartaria, who gave a new look to Amritsar last year, an official said. The proposed facelift, with cow shelters, yoga centres, 10,000-seat theatres and red sand streets on which devotees can prostrate themselves with before the deity without getting hurt, has been prepared by Bartaria.
The facelift of Govardhan is first of the grand revamp of 12 destinations spread across five states as part of its Krishna Circuit, ministry sources said, adding the other cities include Mathura, Vrindavan and Kurukshetra. “Bartaria will do the facelift for Govardhan first, as a pilot project, and then the model will be replicated in all the cities in the circuit. The idea is to keep the religious and spiritual essence of the city intact, but give it a brand new look,” said Satya Prakash Mangal, chairman, Krishnna Circuit. Among the other temple towns are Dwarka, Gokul and Barsana.
Mangal said that the design will incorporate the National Green Tribunal’s orders of 2015, according to which it will have forests, sewage treatment plants, water harvesting systems etc. “We have made sure that we preserve the heritage of the city,” he said.
The design for Govardhan include a 35-km long four-lane and a six-lane ring road joining highways, linking Mathura. There will be six grand entries, with Krishna Leela – the story of Krishna – etched on each of them. The design proposes that only trams and e-rickshaws be allowed in the 25-km ‘Parikrama Marg’, the area adjoining the temple. It will also be made accessible to people on wheelchairs.
A deadline of October 2018 has been set for the pilot project to be replicated across the circuit.