The atmosphere in Ayodhya was filled with religious fervor as invitees continued to arrive for the consecration ceremony at the Ram temple on Monday morning. Despite the biting cold, locals and devotees lined the streets, waving saffron flags, and dancing to songs dedicated to Lord Ram. The holy town is gearing up to welcome Lord Ram, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi scheduled to participate in the historic ceremony.
Among the early-morning arrivals were RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Anupam Kher, Kailash Kher, Jubin Nautiyal, Prasoon Joshi, Manoj Joshi, Sachin Tendulkar, Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Ravi Shankar Prasad, and Anil Ambani. Celebrities like Hema Malini, Kangana Ranaut, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Morari Bapu, Rajnikant, Pavan Kalyan, Madhur Bhandarkar, Subhash Ghai, Shefali Shah, and Sonu Nigam arrived in Ayodhya on Sunday.
The streets resonated with the sound of 'Ram dhun' from early morning, and security personnel maintained a tight vigil across Ayodhya. The 'Pran Pratishtha' of the idol of Ram Lalla, the childhood form of Lord Ram, will witness the participation of representatives from various spiritual and religious sects, tribal communities, and prominent personalities from diverse walks of life.
As part of the consecration ceremony at the Ram temple in Ayodhya, all invitees will have a bell to ring during the aarti, and army helicopters will shower flower petals during the ritual, according to the temple trust. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 12:20 pm and is expected to conclude by 1 pm, followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the gathering. The prime minister will also interact with 'shramjeevis' associated with the temple's construction and visit Kuber Tila, where an ancient Shiv temple has been restored.
The Ram Janmbhoomi Mandir, constructed in the traditional Nagara style, spans 380 feet in length (east-west), 250 feet in width, and 161 feet in height. Supported by 392 pillars and featuring 44 doors, the temple showcases intricately sculpted depictions of Hindu deities on its pillars and walls. The idol of Ram Lalla has been placed in the sanctum sanctorum on the temple's ground floor.
The consecration rituals for the 'Pran Pratishtha' began on January 16 and will be completed on Monday afternoon on the 'Abhijeet Muhurta,' according to the trust. The event is expected to draw a large audience, with the Central government declaring a half-day off on January 22, and various states following suit. Temples across the country and events in international locations, organized by Hindu diaspora groups, are set to mark the historic occasion. The Ram temple and the entire city of Ayodhya have been adorned with flowers and lights, creating an atmosphere of religious fervor.
Ayodhya has been secured with a multi-layered security cover for the consecration ceremony, featuring 10,000 CCTV cameras and drones with artificial intelligence to monitor people's movements. Plainclothes police personnel are stationed at the venue, and movable barriers with barbed wires are strategically placed at prominent crossroads to regulate traffic, especially during VVIP movements. Additionally, multiple National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams trained for various emergency scenarios have been deployed.
The event has a select list of 506 A-list invitees, including business tycoons Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani. Notably, opposition leaders invited to the ceremony have largely declined attendance, with the Congress describing it as a "BJP-RSS event." While over 7,000 people are on the general list of invitees, those linked to the Ram Janmabhoomi agitation will also be present.
(With Agency Inputs)