The boat service between Varanasi and Chunar in Mirzapur will soon be extended to Vindhyachal, after the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor is completed and inaugurated, possibly in November. The Kashi Vishwanath Corridor will be connected with Vindhyachal Corridor through the Ro-Ro boat (ship) service in the Ganga to promote religious tourism and employment opportunities.
Regional tourism officer, Keertiman Srivastava, said that the Varanasi tourism department had made a plan to connect the two corridors through the Ro-Ro boat service. Two Ro-Pax boats, MV Swami Vivekananda and MV Sam Manekshaw, which arrived in the city over 10 months ago, are already anchored in the Ganga here. Both the ships have been introduced for Ro-Ro boat service which has already been started up to Chunar in Mirzapur, which is around 70 km from Varanasi.
According to Srivastava, the extension of the cruise route will give a major boost to religious tourism. “Devotional numbers will be played on the music system to create a devotional ambiance on the ships during the journey. It will also give an opportunity to the religious tourists or pilgrims to enjoy the panoramic view on either side of the Ganga between Varanasi and Vindhyachal,” he said.
As the MV Vivekananda boat or MV Sam Manekshaw boat will reach Vindhyachal, it will be anchored at the ghat and pilgrims will go to the Vindhyachal Corridor where they will offer prayers to Maa Vindhyavasini and visit Kali Khoh and Maa Asthtbhuja Temple before boarding the boat for the return journey.
He said a tour package was being designed and would be ready soon. There was a plan to offer snacks like fried potatoes, puri-sabzi, and fruits to the pilgrims during the journey, he said.
The RO-PAX (Roll-On-Roll-Off-Passenger-ship) boat is a double-ended ferry that sails at an average speed of 15-17 knots (31.48 kmph).
Kashi Vishwanath Corridor is a project worth over 900 crores and nearly 75 percent of the work has already been completed.
Vindhyachal Corridor is another ambitious project of the Yogi Adityanath government. The project, worth about Rs 128 crore, is likely to be completed in 2022 or in early 2023.