Ayodhya celebrates Ram's homecoming, lakhs of diyas light up Saryu riverbank
On the banks of the Saryu bank, the chief minister performed an ‘aarti’. He then lit a 'diya' at Ram ki Paidi, which was immediately followed by volunteers lighting up earthen lamps laid out on the riverbank.PTI | Ayodhya | Updated: 13-11-2020 21:08 IST | Created: 13-11-2020 21:02 IST
The Uttar Pradesh government on Friday went all out in marking the homecoming of Lord Ram to this holy town – the mythical event in 'treta yug' on which the festival of Diwali is based. The "Deepotsav" here included the reenactment of the arrival of God Ram and Goddess Sita to Ayodhya on their 'pushpak viman', a laser and sound show, cultural programmes and the lighting of a "record" 5.51 lakh earthen lamps on the banks of the Saryu.
Actors representing the deities of Ram, Sita and Lakshman descended in a helicopter that sprinkled rose petals – a modern take on the 'pushpak viman' that brought Lord ram back home after 14 years in exile. The deities were received by Governor Anandiben Patel and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
This was the fourth annual Ayodhya Deepotsav, and the first since the 'bhoomi pujan' in August for a Ram temple in Ayodhya. The construction has begun following last year's Supreme Court verdict that settled the temple-mosque land dispute. The CM and the Governor visited the Ram Mandir site along with other UP and some bureaucrats.
Adityanath gave Prime Minister Narendra Modi the credit for the just-begun construction of Ram Mandir. "Our generation is not only fortunate to see the start of construction of a Ram temple here but we also attended the historic event," he said, adding that generations of seers died without the dream being realised.
"I thank PM Modi, who is the one who implemented the ideology of Ram Rajya," Adityanath said in the speech to about 1,000 guests at the Ram Katha Park. With COVID-19 protocols in place, the event was not open to the public.
The celebrations began in the afternoon with a Lord Ram's coronation procession starting from Saket College for the riverbank five kilometers away. Eleven tableaux, built around themes from the Ramayana, participated. As dusk fell, 11,000 earthen lamps lit up the Ram temple site. On the banks of the Saryu bank, the chief minister performed an 'aarti'.
He then lit a 'diya' at Ram ki Paidi, which was immediately followed by volunteers lighting up earthen lamps laid out on the riverbank. Officials said there were about 1,000 volunteers to do the job, and they created a new Guinness World Record by lighting at least 5.51 lakh `diyas'.
Last year, they lit a record 4,10,000 'diyas', the then new record. Adityanath on Friday said the target next year should be 7.51 lakh. Eight teams of folk dancers were invited to perform at the Deepotsav.
"We did rehearsals for over two weeks before coming to Ayodhya," said Vishal, a member of a troupe from Jhansi. Anuradha, a folk dancer from Mathura, said, "We are very excited that we are performing on the streets of Ayodhya, the city of Lord Ram." Before the event, state government officials had listed out development projects for Ayodhya – some of them new, but many already in the pipeline.
Also planned are a modern bus stand, a sewage treatment plant and a multi-level parking lot..
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