As the whole world kicked off Deepavali celebrations, the historic city of Ayodhya attained global recognition as it made its way into the Guinness Book of World Records after 301,152 diyas, or earthen lamps, were lit on the banks of the River Saryu at an event christened ‘Ayodhya Deepostava-2018’.
South Korean First Lady Kim Jung-sook, who was the chief guest at the same event, also witnessed the historic occasion.
Rishi Nath, official adjudicator of the Guinness World Records, made the announcement that the record was created at the 'Deepotsav' event.
“A total of 3,01,152 diyas were lit up simultaneously for five minutes, which is a new record," said Nath in the presence of Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of Indian State of Uttar Pradesh
The whole city of Ayodhya was illuminated with the record diyas and it evoked the same atmosphere of bygone era when Lord Ram returned to his kingdom after 14 years of exile after defeating Ravana and people celebrated the occasion with the illumination of diyas.
The gentle flowing water of the Saryu reflected the splendour of Ayodhya as the diyas were lit on the banks. A massive 30-feet statue of Lord Ram was also installed on the banks of Saryu, along with that of Lord Hanuman, for Deepavali celebrations in the city.
First Lady Kim Jung-sook, earlier arrived in Ayodhya to attend Deepavali celebrations and renew the historic traditions with this old city. She began her tour by offering tribute at the Queen Heo Memorial.
According to Korean legends, Princess Suriratna of Ayodhya had travelled to Korea and married King Kim Suro and became Queen Heo Hwang-ok in 48AD.
A large number of Koreans trace their ancestry to the legendary princess, who is known as Queen Heo Hwang-ok.
Kim visited the site along with Adityanath, and attended a ground-breaking ceremony for upgrade and beautification of the memorial dedicated to the legendary Queen Heo Hwang-ok.
Later, she went to the banks of Saryu to welcome artists donning the avatar of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita, who arrived at Ram Katha Park in a ceremonial chopper as part of 'Ram Durbar'.
Kim garlanded ‘Sita’ as they descended from the helicopter and Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik and Adityanath welcomed Lord Ram and Laxman by garlanding them.
The Deepotsav is an initiative by the Tourism and Cultural Department of Uttar Pradesh to celebrate Lord Rama's victory over Ravana and return to His kingdom in Ayodhya.
Chief Minister Adityanath announced plans to rechristen the city of Faizabad to Ayodhya.
“We won't let anyone erase memories of Lord Ram from our hearts and that is what we, our government at the Centre is ensuring. We have come here to assure you that no one can do injustice to Ayodhya. The aspirations of the people from Ayodhya are the top priorities on our minds,” said Adityanath while addressing a public meeting.