Vrindavan (India): Four centuries ago the Muslim poet Ras Khan had expressed the wish “if born a human again I would like to be a permanent resident of the Braj Dham, the leela bhoomi of Sri Krishna-Radha.”
Builders and colonizers are making sure that anyone who has the resources can be a resident of Vrindavan or Mathura even in this birth, live in plush houses or flats equipped with all modern amenities, and be a part of the ethos and ambience of Sri Krishna land.
UP chief minister Mayawati last month announced Rs.200 crore package for the whole of Braj Mandal, to develop and broadbase infrastructural facilities. This unprecedented generosity, according to realtors in Mathura will definitely give a further boost to construction activity in Vrindavan and Mathura already witnessing transformation. “A basically rural landscape, the whole Braj area with Mathura as the nucleus, is changing to an urban profile with malls, high rise buildings, duplex flats, regal bunglows with spacious lawns coming up all over,” says property broker Banke Lal.
Residential complexes have mushroomed all over Vrindavan and Mathura. One of the best maintained complex with lush green lawns and landscaping is Yamuna Dham at the Goverdhan crossing in Mathura. DK Sharma, the president of the residents’ society talking to Agratoday.in said “we have 72 flats in this complex called Nandan Van. The whole area is absolutely green. We have our own water and power supply arrangements and also security system in place and the residents collectively celebrate all festivals. The promoter of the complex Sudeep Agarwal himself lives here.”
In Vrindavan hectic construction activity in all parts has amazed even the realtors. “The flats have all been booked and there is not an inch of land available for further construction on the Delhi-Chatikara road via the ISKCON temple. All the Swamis and Babas have opened ashrams with liberal support from their followers,” says Acharya Jaimini, the internationally recognized music maestro.
The biggest religious and spiritual complex so far is coming up at Prem Mandir, promoted by Jagat Guru Sri Kripaluji Maharaj. Nandu Baba, the CEO supervising the construction operations at the site told Agratoday.in: “work started here on January 14, 2001 and should finish off within a year from now. More than 800 craftsmen, artisans and specialists from various parts of the country have been toiling day and night to create a pure marble temple in the original Som Nath style.
The plan and designing work has been done by the famous Suman and Manoj Bhai Sompura from Gujarat. It is a massive marble structure with three feet thick walls, all pure marble and the presiding deity will be Yugal Sarkar (Radha Krishna).” The whole area looks as if the quarries from Rajasthan have been brought here. The engineers are using the latest technology available and several new experiments are being conducted for the first time. When complete “it could rival the Taj Mahal,” says an over optimistic supporter at the site.
The older Dharamshalas in this holy town are making way for modern complexes and the once sleepy town that woke up only on festivals is now a 24x7 busy urban cluster with all modern amenities. In the past two years the Bhartiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh have had all their major conclaves in Vrindavan which enjoys good connectivity both from Agra, Mathura and Delhi.
The Pushpanjali Builders of Agra are coming up with Baikunth Dham, while the Sri Ji group has already established its name and credibility with several housing complexes. “We have created international level complexes with row housing, bunglows with lush green cover. Greenery is our USP. The occupancy is 100 percent and all the residents are completely satisfied,” said managing director S Agarwal.
Explaining the background of the feverish construction activity in full swing, Raghav Mittal, IIT graduate now full time involved in saving the Braj heritage, says “a new class of Bhagwat Vachaks with the Vrindavan tag is doing brisk business globally. The money flowing in is helping to change the face of this holy city. The chelas of some of the babas and big time gurus have turned property promoters. The business houses too have their own guest houses for the staff members. In the past decade there has been a big influx of people from Punjab and Delhi who have suddenly taken a fancy to Braj mandal. Big complexes are coming up right till Chaumuhan, 14 kms away. In Goverdhan, the holy hill town a gold course is coming up and a row of high rise buildings with plush accommodation for the devouts.”
The Mathura Vrindavan Development Authority is executing a dozne big projects for beautification and streamlining civic amenities. “Within the next five years the profile of the whole area is bound to change for the better,” says an official.