New Delhi | 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 are flooding in from across the country as Ayodhya prepares for the consecration ceremony.
Also featured in the list of gifts for the January 22 event 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.
The Ram temple management committee has received other offerings such as 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, among others.
More than 3,000 gifts from Sita's birthplace in Nepal's Janakpur have also arrived. These include silver shoes, ornaments and clothes transported in a convoy of around 30 vehicles from the Janakpur Dham Ramjanaki Temple. A Sri Lankan delegation brought a special gift from the Ashok Vatika, a garden mentioned in the 'Ramayana'.
A nursery in Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal has dispatched two consignments of 10,000 Bougainvillea flowers each to Ayodhya which will be used to decorate the temple premises.
On Friday, MP Chief Minister Mohan Yadav flagged off five trucks carrying five lakh ladoos, prepared at the Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain, to Ayodhya. The laddus weigh about 50 gm each, and the entire consignment is 250 quintals. In addition, papers with 'Ram' written on them collectively 4.31 crore times will be sent from Chhindwara on January 22.
The Shri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sansthan in Mathura is also going to send 200 kilograms of ladoos as an offering and the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, the official custodian of the Sri Venkateswara temple in Tirupati, will supply one lakh ladoos. Nagpur-based chef Vishnu Manohar has announced that he will prepare 7,000 kg of "Ram Halwa", a traditional sweet dish, for the devotees at the ceremony.
Over 10,000 bangles from Firozabad have been handed over to the Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra trust. The bangles, prepared by months of labour by both Hindu and Muslim workers, bear pictures of Lord Ram, Goddess Sita and Lord Hanuman.
The gifts received by the Ayodhya temple also include 56 varieties of Agra's famous 'petha', a gem-studded dress and silver plates, besides special perfumes prepared by Kannauj perfumers for Ram Lalla along with an 'Attar Shamama' to help protect from cold and a 2,400-kg bell from residents of Etah.
Among the traditional offerings, a 'nagada' (drum) weighing 500 kg has arrived from Gujarat and Kerala's famed Padmanabhaswamy temple has gifted an 'Onavillu', a traditional ceremonial bow, while the Ayodhya-based Amava Ram Temple is also going to present a 2.5-kg bow.
Two vegetable-laden trucks were recently sent from Chhattisgarh, in addition to the 300 tonnes of rice sent last month. At a Ram temple in Delhi, rice, wheat and other types of grains are being collected to be sent to Ayodhya to mark the 'pran pratishtha'.
Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel recently flagged off a 44-foot-long brass flag pole and other smaller six flag poles in Ahmedabad last week for the "pran pratistha" ceremony.
A special saree prepared in Surat city, a major textile hub of the country, will be sent to the temple authorities. The saree, with pictures of Lord Ram and the Ayodhya temple printed on it, is meant for Lord Ram's wife Sita.
A diamond merchant in the city has made a necklace on the theme of the Ram temple using 5,000 American diamonds and two kilograms of silver. Forty artisans completed the design in 35 days and the necklace has been gifted to the Ram Mandir trust.
With an unwavering devotion towards Lord Ram and a desire to fulfil his 'kar sevak' father's dream, 64-year-old Challa Srinivas Sastry from Hyderabad has reached Ayodhya on foot, covering a distance of nearly 8,000 km, to present gold-plated footwear for the lord.
Arvindbhai Mangalbhai Patel, a farmer residing in Vadodara, has crafted a giant lamp weighing 1,100 kg.
The consecration ceremony at the Ram temple will be organised in Ayodhya on January 22. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and thousands of seers from across the country have been invited for the ceremony.