MP: Six ‘Saptarishi’ idols collapse at Ujjain’s Mahakal Lok corridor due to strong winds

09:04 AM May 29, 2023 | PTI |

Ujjain: Six out of the seven idols of ‘Saptarishis’ installed at the Mahakal Lok corridor, developed on the premises of Mahakaleshwar temple in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain, collapsed and suffered damages due to gusty winds on Sunday, but nobody was injured in the incident despite the presence of a large number of visitors, officials said.


The facility was shut for a few hours following the incident that occurred around 4 pm, they said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the first phase of the Mahakal Lok corridor project in October last year.

The incident gave ammunition to the opposition Congress to hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state, as it accused corruption in the project and demanded a probe into the ”sub-standard” quality of construction.

”There are a total of 160 idols installed at the Mahakal Lok corridor, out of them six idols of ‘Saptarishis’ (seven sages) that were around 10 feet tall fell down around 4 pm as strong winds swept through the area,” Ujjain Collector Kumar Purshottam said.

After that, the corridor was immediately closed. But when it was reopened at 7 pm, a large number of visitors again thronged the place, he said. These damaged idols were not located inside the Mahakaleshwar temple, but in the Mahakal Lok corridor developed around it, he said, adding that they will be restored.


Another official said, ”The corridor is spread across around one km. When the idols collapsed, the premises were packed with visitors, but nobody was injured in the incident.” Gusty winds, which were responsible for the episode, killed two persons elsewhere in Ujjain, he claimed. He said that the companies from Gujarat have been engaged in the work of creating the idols and constructing the corridor.

The total cost of the Mahakal Lok project is Rs 856 crore with the first phase costing Rs 351 crore. State Congress chief Kamal Nath said in a tweet, ”I demand from the chief minister that the idols be restored immediately. The sub-standard construction should be probed and the people involved in it should be punished.”

His predecessor Arun Yadav told PTI over phone, ”The BJP government is not even sparing Gods and today’s development at the Mahakal Lok corridor smacks of corruption.”

Talking about the local weather conditions, India Meteorological Department’s Bhopal centre Duty Officer J P Vishwakarma told PTI that the forecast for Sunday said gusty winds would blow at the speed of 40 to 50 kilometer per hour (KMPH) at isolated places in Ujjain during the day.

Talking over the phone, he also said, ”We don’t have an Automatic Weather Station in Ujjain to measure the speed of the wind in Ujjain. We are going to demand it.”

The corridor, said to be one of the longest in the country, traverses the old Rudrasagar lake which has been revived as part of the redevelopment project around the Mahakaleshwar temple, one of the 12 ‘jyotirlingas’ in the country.

Measuring more than 900 metres in length, the corridor has around 108 aesthetically ornate pillars made of intricately-carved sandstones that depict the Anand Tandav Swaroop (a form of dance of Lord Shiva), 200 statues and murals of Lord Shiva and goddess Shakti.


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