What’s go­ing on in Kr­ishna coun­try?

Prici­est units to be built around the tallest tem­ple, Chan­dro­daya Mandir

HT Estates - - FRONT PAGE - Arati Bhargava

Mathura – the birth­place of Kr­ishna; Vrin­da­van - where he spent his child­hood and char med many with his pranks; and Go­vard­han - the hillock that (as the leg­end goes) he held up with his lit­tle fin­ger – at­tract devo­tees from all over the coun­try dur­ing Jan­mash­tami – the day on which Kr­ishna was born. For prop­erty agents here, Jan­mash­tami is also the busiest time for real es­tate trans­ac­tions.

Real es­tate watch­ers are ex­pect­ing a spike in sales dur­ing this pe­riod. Su­nil Gau­tam of Braj Re­al­tors in Vrin­da­van says that one of the rea­sons why prop­erty prices have gone up here is the am­bi­tious ISKCON pro­ject to build the world’s tallest tem­ple, Chan­dro­daya Mandir. Be­ing de­vel­oped by Kolkata’s In­fin­ity Group, the ₹ 300 crore tem­ple com­plex would be spread over 150 acres and more; and will also of­fer in­di­vid­ual vil­las and apart­ments with modern fa­cil­i­ties. Con­struc­tion work, which has al­ready be­gun, is ex­pected to be com­pleted by 2017. Prices vary from about ₹ 1.5 crore for a 150 sq yard res­i­den­tial unit to ₹ 5 crore for 500 sq yards.

In­vestors, says Gau­tam, are now mov­ing away from ar­eas around the fa­mous Bankey Bi­hari tem­ple, which have highly con­gested, nar­row lanes, and are opt­ing for more open ar­eas, even if they are far away from the tem­ple.

The de­mand for prop­erty in the area is gen­er­ated by peo­ple vis­it­ing Vrin­da­van from cities close by for short week­end trips. Most of th­ese vis­i­tors are look­ing for more

per­ma­nent op­tions like a place of their own here. Re­puted builders are now, there­fore, buy­ing large land hold­ings in and around Vrin­da­van for stu­dio apart­ments, res­i­den­tial floors and vil­las. As a re­sult, prices of real es­tate since last year have gone up by 20% to 25%, de­pend­ing on the area and prop­erty type. A stu­dio apart­ment of about 500 sq ft costs be­tween ₹ 15 lakh and ₹ 20 lakh, and a two bed­room unit of around 1100 sq ft apart­ment has a tag of around ₹ 36 lakh.

In Mathura, 11 km away from Vrin­da­van, the sce­nario is not as rosy. The Kr­ishna Jan­mab­hoomi, where Kr­ishna is said to have been born, with its dark cell and stone plat­forms, is a chill­ing reminder of the im­pris­on­ment and tra­vails of De­vaki and Va­sudev, Kr­ishna’s par­ents.

Sawan Gau­tam of Shri Hari Prop­erty Ser­vices here says that dur­ing Jan­mash­tami, count­less peo­ple visit Mathura, but most of those mak­ing en­quiries about prop­erty want to live here. They are end-users and not just pe­ri­odic vis­i­tors for brief spells of spir­i­tual tourism.

As per an Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey of In­dia (ASI) board at Mathura Museum, this holy city finds a men­tion in the Ma­hab­harata. It is be­lieved that ear­lier, the place was called Mad­hu­van, which was sub­se­quently changed to Mad­hupura and l ater Mathura. I n t he Pu­ranas, Mathura is one of the seven holi­est places in the coun­try where peo­ple achieve mok­sha.

Sawan Gau­tam says that prop­erty prices went up here in 2012, and con­tinue to in­crease, dis­cour­ag­ing buy­ers in the bar­gain. The main Kr­ishna tem­ple is lo­cated in the mid­dle of the city. In high­end ar­eas such as Dampier Na­gar near the museum, an in­de­pen­dent unit can cost around ₹ 1 lakh per sq yard. Avail­abil­ity is neg­li­gi­ble and most buy­ers pre­fer to buy apart­ments, and that too, modern newly con­structed ones. A two bed­room apart­ment of about 950 sq ft could cost around ₹ 25 lakh; and 1150 sq ft unit about ₹ 30 lakh and above. A 200 sq yard house near the Na­tional High­way 2 would be around ₹ 80 lakh to ₹ 1 crore.

In­ter­est­ingly, while un­til re­cently it was mainly the su­per­rich and celebri­ties who owned prop­er­ties in Vrin­da­van and Mathura, many are now go­ing in for ready- to-move-in apart­ments or book­ing them, thanks to the wide choice of­fered by var­i­ous builder groups here.

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