Ayodhya all set for grand inauguration of Ram Temple by PM Modi on Monday

The holy town of Ayodhya, considered by millions as the birthplace of Lord Ram, is all set to host Prime Minister Narendra Modi who on Monday (January 22) will lead the grand opening of the temple dedicated to the Hindu deity, seen as an embodiment of chivalry and virtue.  

The inauguration of the temple- read pran pratishtha or consecration of the idol of Lord Ram- is taking place months before Narendra Modi and his government, emboldened by the recent assembly elections success, seek a third term in the national polls.

Ayodhya is all set for the grand launch of Ram Temple by PM Modi on Monday. Photo courtesy: Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra

From celebrities to politicians and seers, Ayodhya is currently overwhelmed by people from far and wide places who hope to witness a watershed religious event that will mark the course of the nation in the coming months. Many of them arrived in private jets for the ceremony. 

The temple site remained an issue of bitter contest between Hindus and Muslims for over seven decades with both the religious factions laying claim to it.

If elected to power, Modi, under whose leadership the Bharatiya Janata Party seized power at the Centre in Delhi after thrashing the Congress-led UPA government in 2014 general polls, will create a hattrick of victory.

Pran pratishtha or consecration of the idol is a Hindu tradition when the murti (idol) is infused with life as a deity in a Hindu temple. Chanting of hymns invites the deity to be a resident guest, and the murti’s eye is opened for the first time.  

It also witnessed violence in 1992 when a mob destroyed a 16th-century mosque which stood at the site, which was once a Hindu temple of Lord Rama.

A major section of Hindus claimed that the site was the birthplace of Lord Rama before Muslim Mughals razed a temple at the spot to build the Babri Masjid.

In a landmark verdict in 2019, the Supreme Court handed over the land to the Hindu community and ordered to allot a separate plot to Muslims.

Security tightened in Ayodhya

Ayodhya has been turned into a fortress as tight security arrangements have been made ahead of the consecration ceremony.

Official sources told Indian news agency UNI that in order to maintain foolproof security in Ayodhya, 17 Superintendent of Police (SP) along with 44 Additional SPs and 140 Circle Officer (COs), have been deployed. Along with these 208 Inspectors, 1,196 SI, 4,300 constable and 2,100 trainee SIs have been pressed into service.

Sources said that along with 590 female constables, 26 companies of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and 7 companies of the CAPF have also been deployed. “Besides NSG, RAF, ATS, and STF will be on security duty,” they said.

Sources said that the borders of Ayodhya have already been sealed ahead of the consecration ceremony.

Central govt. declares half-day

The central government declared a half-day of closing of offices on January 22 on the occasion of Ram Lalla Pran Pratishtha (consecration ceremony). Many BJP-ruled states have also followed suit.

Congress declines to attend ceremony

Country’s key opposition Congress has dubbed the temple opening ceremony as a BJP-RSS event, with its senior leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Sonia Gandhi declining to attend the event.

Many other opposition leaders have also decided to give the ceremony a miss stating they will visit the Ram temple after January 22 or once the temple construction is complete.

The full schedule of PM Modi in Ayodhya on Jan 22

10:25 AM: Prime Minister arrives at Ayodhya airport.

10:45 AM: Prime Minister arrives at Ayodhya helipad.

10:55 AM: The PM reaches Ram Janmabhoomi site.

11 AM-12 PM: Reserved

12:05-12:55 PM: ‘Pran Pratishtha’ rituals begin.

12:55 PM: PM Modi leaves the consecration ceremony venue.

1 PM: PM Modi arrives at the public ceremony.

1 PM- 2 PM: PM Modi attends the public event in Ayodhya.

2:10 PM: PM Modi visits Kuber Teela.