Pune: Pandharpur Development Authority (PDA) has decided to construct a hanging bridge on the iconic Chandrabhaga river at the famous temple town, and also to develop a `Darshan Bari Complex' along a 3-km stretch on the other side of the river.
This is expected to ease the burden on the civic infrastructure during the pilgrimage time.
Lakhs of devotees from across the state and even outside walk to Pandharpur, an ancient town located in Solapur district of western Maharashtra, every year around June-July to visit the temple of Lord Vitthal and his consort Rakhumai. The pilgrimage is called `waari'.
Sanjay Teli, sub-divisional officer of Pandharpur, said, "The project has already been sanctioned and the work will start after this year's waari."
While finalising the design of hanging bridge PDA studied the famous Lakshman Jhula of Rishikesh, Hann bridge of Seoul, Mount Titlis suspension bridge and even the Eiffel Tower lifts, he said.
The PDA has also developed land for pilgrim camps over 65 acres on the other bank of the river where all the necessary amenities have been provided.
"We plan to acquire another 100 acres for camp site. The entire project will cost Rs 400 to 500 crore," said Teli.
Elaborating on the project, Sharad Mohite, architect and consultant to the PDA, said, "During the four pilgrimages in the year, at least 10 lakh people visit the town and stay for a week or two. We are diverting this crowd to the other bank. The new Darshan Complex will have all the civic amenities including escalators.
"The hanging bridge will not have (supporting) pillars in the riverbed, so it will not obstruct the traffic of small boats," Mohite added.