'Rammay' Ayodhya set for consecration ceremony, temple town decked up

The "Pran Pratishtha" ceremony will begin at 12.20 pm and is expected to end by 1 pm. The prime minister will then address a gathering of more than 7,000 people, including seers and prominent personalities, at the venue.
'Rammay' Ayodhya set for consecration ceremony, temple town decked up

Ayodhya | The much-awaited consecration event at Ram temple will be held here on Monday in a grand ceremony with Prime Minister Narendra Modi attending the rituals. The shrine will be opened to the public a day later.

The "Pran Pratishtha" ceremony will begin at 12.20 pm and is expected to end by 1 pm. The prime minister will then address a gathering of more than 7,000 people, including seers and prominent personalities, at the venue.

According to the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, Ram Lalla idol was bathed on Sunday with 114 pitchers filled with "aushadhiyukt" (medicated) water and sacred water brought from various pilgrimage sites.

"The idol was kept in 'Madhyadhivas' today. 'Ratri Jagran Adhivas' will start today itself. The old idol of Ram Lalla is being worshipped in the 'Yagyashala'. The rituals are being performed with flowers from many places, including Chennai and Pune," a trust member said.

"Today, temple trust member Anil Mishra along with his family, VHP chief R N Singh and others are performing the rituals. The consecration ritual started from the Saryu river on January 16 and will be completed on Monday afternoon on 'Abhijeet Muhurta'," he added.

A few invitees arrived in Ayodhya on Sunday while others are expected to arrive Monday morning. Lakhs of people are expected to watch the event live on TV and online platforms as the Centre has announced a half-day off on January 22 and many others followed suit.

As authorities made final preparations in Ayodhya, considered the birthplace of Lord Ram, temples across the nation and abroad have announced special festivities on the occasion. From Washington DC to Paris to Sydney, these events are either being organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad or Hindu diaspora groups in 60 countries.

Ayodhya is bedecked with flowers as recordings of 'Ram dhun' played from loudspeakers on Sunday and townsfolk dressed as Lord Ram, Sita, Lakshman and Hanuman paraded the streets followed by delirious devotees and news camera crew.

Ceremonial gates depicting 'Jai Shri Ram' in floral patterns and illumination add to the aura of the city which has undergone a massive infrastructural

growth after the 2019 Supreme Court verdict on the Ram temple issue.

The new 51-inch idol of Ram Lalla, sculpted by Mysuru-based Arun Yogiraj, was placed in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple last Thursday. Fourteen couples will be the "yajmaans" for the "Pran Pratishtha".

Temple Trust's general secretary Champat Rai said the entry into the temple will be from the east side and exit from the south side. The temple superstructure will eventually be three-storeyed -- G+2. Visitors will climb 32 steps from the eastern side to reach the main temple.

The temple complex, built in the traditional Nagara style, will be 380 feet long (east-west direction), 250-feet wide and 161-feet high. Each floor of the temple will be 20-feet-high and have 392 pillars and 44 gates.

The state government is pulling out all stops to prepare for the big day with police personnel deployed across the city as part of a multi-layered security plan. Multiple NDRF teams have also been deployed.

The administration has made arrangements to deal with any health emergency, especially in view of the biting cold. Beds have been reserved at city and district hospitals and the medical college here. Specialists from AIIMS have provided focused emergency response training to doctors.

The Ram temple has been decorated with "rich stocks" of flowers and special lights and the entire city is drenched in religious fervour.

Streetlights on flyovers have been decorated with artworks depicting Lord Ram as well as cutouts of bow and arrow, and ornamental lampposts carry designs themed on the traditional "Ramanandi tilak".

Ramlilas, Bhagwat Kathas, Bhajan sandhyas and cultural programmes are going on at different places here. The banks of the Saryu River are also decked up where thousands flock every evening for the "aarti".

On January 22, public sector banks, insurance companies, financial institutions and rural banks across the country will also remain closed for half the day. NSE and BSE have also announced a trading holiday.

While more than 7,000 people are on the list of invitees, the select list features 506 A-listers. Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, business tycoons Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani, and sporting icon Sachin Tendulkar are among the prominent people invited to the event.

Those attending the "Pran Prathishtha" also include people linked to the Ram Janmabhoomi agitation. Almost all opposition leaders invited to the ceremony have declined to be in attendance, with the Congress calling it a "BJP-RSS event".

But there are others, not on the list, who are heading to Ayodhya in their unique ways -- walking, cycling and even skating -- covering long distances amid bone-chilling cold.

From Lord Ram image-adorned bangles to 56 varieties of "petha" and from traditional items like a 500-kg iron-copper "nagada" and the "Onavillu" bow to offerings of rice, ladoos and vegetables, a diverse array of gifts have arrived from across the country.

Also featured in the gifts are special perfumes from Kannauj, 500-kg "kumkum" leaves from Amravati, grains collected at a Ram temple in Delhi, flowers from Bhopal and papers with Lord Ram written 4.31 crore times from Madhya Pradesh's Chhindwara.

Other offerings include a 108-foot incense stick, a 2,100-kg bell, a giant lamp weighing 1,100 kg, gold footwear, a 10-foot-high lock and key and a clock that simultaneously denotes time in eight countries.

More than 3,000 gifts from Goddess Sita's birthplace in Nepal's Janakpur have also arrived. A Sri Lankan delegation brought a special gift from Ashok Vatika, a garden mentioned in the Ramayana.

From Nihang Singhs to ISKCON and temple trusts from across the country to locals in Ayodhya, community kitchens are being run here to serve "langar" food to devotees.

Ram temple's sanctum sanctorum to be decorated with flowers from Chennai

Ayodhya | Rich fragrance-bearing flowers brought from Chennai will be used for decorating the sanctum sanctorum of the Ram temple in Ayodhya on Sunday night, an official said.

Sanjay Dhawalikar, head of the floral decoration team, also said that over 3,000 kgs of flowers of more than 20 varieties have been used for decoration of the grand structure ahead of the consecration ceremony on January 22.

The 'Pran Pratishtha' at the Ram temple will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a host of other dignitaries.

Over 7,000 guests are slated to attend the mega ceremony in the temple town which has been decked up and many buildings illuminated to add to the aura of the holy city.

"About 85-90 per cent work on decoration of the temple complex has been completed. Over 3,000 kgs of various varieties of flowers brought from different parts of India, have been used for it," Dhawalikar told PTI here.

The flowers include chrysanthemum, gerbera, orchid, and exotic ones like anthurium and lilium, he said.

These flowers, each variety of different colours, have been brought from Chennai, Bangaluru, Pune, Lucknow and Delhi, Dhawalikar said.

The entire temple town is in the grip of religious fervour or as the locals say, "Ayodhya Ram maye ho rahi hai".

"When guests will enter the temple complex, not only will they be welcomed by the architectural and visual brilliance of the temple, and its aesthetic decoration, but even their smelling senses will be greeted," Dhawalikar said.

Asked what kind of flowers will be used for decoration of sanctum sanctorum of the newly built Ram temple, he said flowers bearing rich scent and fragrance brought from Chennai will be used for decoration of the 'garbh griha' and the new idol of Ram Lalla.

Flowers such as roses, chameli will be used for decoration of the sanctum sanctorum which will be done on Sunday night, Dhawalikar added.

The decoration began on January 18 and about 200 workers are on the job, he said.

Images of the floral decoration were shared by the temple trust on Saturday night.

The temple has also been decked up with a series of special lights with design of a 'diya'.

"These flowers are special and also due to winter, can last longer. So they will remain fresh on the day of the consecration ceremony," Dhawalikar added.

Separate teams were made for floral decoration and illumination work and they are all working in tandem under the guidance of the trust officials.

"Inside the garbh griha, the traditional diya will be used," a source said, adding, the soft illumination on the inner side of the temple will highlight the architectural elements while the outer illumination will get turned on only after evening.

The new 51-inch idol of Ram Lalla, carved by Mysuru-based sculptor Arun Yogiraj, was placed in the sanctum sanctorum of the Ram Janmabhoomi temple on Thursday afternoon.

'Pran Pratishtha': Modi to participate around noon on Monday, says PMO

New Delhi | Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the consecration ceremony of Ram Lalla in the newly-built Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Mandir in Ayodhya around noon on Monday and will address a gathering present for the occasion, his office said.

The historic 'Pran Pratishtha' ceremony will be attended by representatives of all major spiritual and religious sects of the country, a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said.

People from all walks of life including representatives of various tribal communities will also attend the ceremony, it said.

Earlier in October, 2023, the prime minister had received the invitation from Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Trust for the 'Pran Pratishtha' ceremony.

The prime minister will interact with 'shramjeevis' (workers) associated with the construction of Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Mandir. He will also visit the Kuber Tila, where an ancient Shiv temple has been restored. He will also perform 'pooja' and 'darshan' at the restored temple, the statement said.

The Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Mandir is constructed in traditional Nagara style – 380 feet in length (east-west), 250 feet wide and 161 feet tall.

The temple is supported by a total of 392 pillars and 44 doors. The pillars and walls of the temple showcase intricately sculpted depictions of Hindu deities, gods, and goddesses.

“In the main sanctum sanctorum at ground floor, the childhood form of Bhagwan Shri Ram (the idol of Shri Ramlalla) has been placed,” the statement said.

The main entrance to the temple is situated on the eastern side, which can be approached by ascending 32 stairs through the ‘Singh Dwar’.

There are a total of five halls in the temple - Nritya Mandap, Rang Mandap, Sabha Mandap, Prathana Mandap and Kirtan Mandap.

Near the temple is the Sita Koop, a historic well dating back to the ancient era, the statement said.

In the southwestern part of the temple complex, at Kuber Tila, the ancient Shiv temple has been restored along with the installation of a statue of Jatayu.

The foundation of the temple has been constructed with a 14-metre-thick layer of roller-compacted concrete (RCC), giving it the appearance of artificial rock. No iron is used anywhere in the temple, according to the statement.

For protection against ground moisture, a 21-foot-high plinth has been constructed using granite.

The temple complex has a sewage treatment plant, water treatment plant, water supply for fire safety and an independent power station.

The temple has been constructed employing the country's traditional and indigenous technology, the statement said.

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