Ayodhya: The holy city of Ayodhya is witnessing a festive mood as it prepares for the historic consecration of the Ram Lalla idol in the new Ram temple on January 22. The idol, which represents the child form of Lord Ram, was installed in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple on Wednesday after a four-hour-long puja. The idol, made of black stone and weighing about 150 to 200 kg, will be consecrated with Vedic rituals on the auspicious day of Paush Shukla Dwadashi.
The consecration ceremony, also known as Pran-Pratishtha Samaroh, will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath, UP governor Anandiben Patel, and president of the temple trust Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, among other dignitaries. The ceremony will mark the culmination of a decades-long legal and political struggle over the disputed site, which is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ram. In 2019, the Supreme Court of India gave the verdict to hand over the site to Hindus for the construction of a temple, while allotting a separate land for Muslims to build a mosque.
To celebrate the occasion, the city of Ayodhya has been decked up with lights, flowers, banners, and posters. The two main roads of the city, Ram Path and Dharma Path, are the center of attraction for the devotees and tourists. Ram Path is a 13-kilometer-long route that connects Sahadatganj in Faizabad city to Naya Ghat intersection in Ayodhya city. It is adorned with artworks depicting Lord Ram and his bow and arrows, as well as decorative lampposts with designs based on the traditional ‘Ramanandi Tilak’ theme. Dharma Path is another road that leads to the Ram temple complex. It is lined with saffron flags and pictures of the new temple. The two roads meet at Lata Mangeshkar Chowk, where huge banners and digital displays welcome the visitors with information and pictures related to the consecration ceremony.
The Lucknow-Ayodhya highway is also filled with posters and slogans celebrating the event. Some of the posters read ‘Shubh Ghadi Aayi, Viraje Raghurai’ (The auspicious moment has arrived, Lord Ram is here), ‘Jai Shri Ram’ (Hail Lord Ram), and ‘Ram Rajya Aa Gaya’ (Ram’s kingdom has come). The posters also display the date of the consecration ceremony and the images of the Ram Lalla idol and the temple. The temple, which is being supervised by the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, is designed by the Sompura family of Gujarat in the Nagara style of architecture. It will have a height of 161 feet and a site area of 2.7 acres. It will consist of one central temple with six more joined around it as one temple complex. The temple will also have a ‘Surya Tilak’ system, which will use lenses and mirrors to channel sunlight onto Ram Lalla’s forehead every Ram Navami.
The Ram temple will be open for ‘darshan’ (worship) for the general public from January 23. The devotees are expected to follow the Covid-19 guidelines and maintain social distancing while visiting the temple. The temple is expected to attract millions of pilgrims and tourists from across the country and the world, and boost the economy and culture of Ayodhya. The temple is also seen as a symbol of the faith and devotion of the Hindus towards Lord Ram, who is revered as an ideal king, a righteous warrior, and a compassionate human being.