Kashi Vishwanath Dham, 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, official sources said on Sunday.
Even on Mahashivratri, considered the most auspicious day to visit the temple in Varanasi, the devotees' numbers never exceeded 2.5 lakh, they added.
"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," a source said.
Such a huge number of people turning up on a non-festival day at the temple shows the immense enthusiasm among people across the country to visit the Kashi Vishwanath Dham after Modi inaugurated it, the sources noted.
The local administration in Varanasi is now requesting devotees, especially VIPs, to stagger their visit to the dham to ensure proper crowd management.
The prime minister 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.