Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of an international cricket stadium in his parliamentary constituency Varanasi, in the presence of Indian cricket’s icons Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Dilip Vengsarkar, and a host of luminaries.
The stadium boasts of many unique features, besides having a state-of-the-art media box, lounge and seven pitches which would go a long way in promoting cricket in the hallowed turf of Varanasi.
India’s leading construction company L&T will build the stadium, which will become operational towards the end of 2025. The total cost of developing the stadium will be about Rs 450 crore.
Speaking at the foundation stone-laying ceremony, PM Modi said it was a joy for him to come back to his constituency. “Today, the foundation stone of an international cricket stadium has been laid in Kashi. This stadium will not only be a blessing for Varanasi but also for the youth of Purvanchal,” he said.
The PM further said, “In the city of Lord Mahadev, this stadium is dedicated to Him, both in its design and in spirit. This will greatly benefit my Kashi.”
The highlight of the occasion was Sachin Tendulkar presenting a Team India jersey to PM Modi. No sooner had the Master Blaster presented the jersey, there was a thunderous applause from the crowd.
Spiritual journey while watching game of cricket
- The Varanasi Stadium will be the seventh international cricket stadium which will be built in the country post-2014. India has 40 international cricket stadiums, 33 of which were built before the Narendra Modi Government came to power.
- The dome of the stadium bears resemblance to damru, the celestial drum of Lord Shiva. No other cricket stadium in the country has this kind of dome which is built to show Varanasi’s deep-seated connection with the Lord.
- The nature of floodlights is another unique feature of this stadium. Unlike conventional floodlights which tower over, the floodlights in this stadium are fashioned like a Trishul (the trident of Lord Shiva) and are unequal in height
- The entrance of the stadium will be a sight to behold – it replicates the intricate beauty of bilva leaf, a sacred leaf highly revered in Lord Shiva’s worship. This leaf, associated with purity and devotion, sets the tone for a spiritual journey that visitors will embark upon as they enter the stadium.
- Moving over to the roof, which is shaped like a crescent moon; it pays homage to Lord Shiva’s celestial adornment. Its presence atop the stadium lends a touch of divine grace to the sporting arena.
- The seating arrangement at the stadium is another unique experience. The rows of seats are strategically placed in order to resemble the steps of Ganga ghats. Also, the seating is seamless – the crowds will appear to be merging into the stadium.
- The land for the stadium has been purchased at a cost of Rs 120 crore, which has been borne by the UP Government. The BCCI will spend around Rs 330 crore to design and build this magnificent stadium.
- The stadium will contain seven pitches, lounges, a commentator’s box, a media centre and a big hostel. It will be operational by the end of 2025.