Ayodhya - Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday (August 5, 2020) performed the ground-breaking ceremony during which he laid the foundation stone for the construction of a grand Ram Temple in the holy town of Ayodhya.
While addressing an august gathering of 175 distinguished guests, PM Modi said, “A grand temple will now be built for our Ram Lalla who had been staying in a tent. Today, Ram Janmbhoomi breaks free of the cycle of breaking and getting built again - that had been going on for centuries.’’
The Prime Minister further said, “It is my good fortune that I was invited to witness this historical moment... From Kanyakumari to Kshirbhavani, from Koteshwar to Kamakhya, from Jagannath to Kedarnath, Somnath to Kashi Vishwanath...today entire country is immersed in Lord Ram.”
The PM, who began his speech with 'Jai Siyaram', said, “This call is resonating not only in the city of Lord Ram but throughout the world today. I express gratitude to all citizens of this nation, Indian diaspora across the world and all the devotees of Lord Ram on today's pious occasion.”
The PM went on to say "Ram Mandir will become the modern symbol of our traditions. It'll become a symbol of our devotion, our national sentiment. This temple will also symbolise the power of the collective resolution of crores of people. It will keep inspiring future generations.''
While stressing that ''Ram is omnipresent and belongs to all humanity,'' the PM said, ''I believe that this grand Ram temple, like the name of Shri Ram, will reflect the rich heritage of Indian culture. I believe it will inspire the entire humanity till eternity.''
PM Narendra Modi, RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat, UP CM Yogi Adityanath, Ram Temple trust president Nritya Gopal Das and a group of chief priests performed the foundation stone laying ceremony amid chants of the Vedic Mantras.
The Prime Minister also unveiled the plaque of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya in the presence of Ram Mandir Trust president Nitya Gopal Das, UP CM Yogi Adityanath, UP Governor Anandiben Patel and RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat and many others. He also released a commemorative postage stamp on the 'Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir'.
Today’s ‘Bhoomi Pujan' of a Supreme Court-mandated Ram temple in Ayodhya brought to fruition the BJP's ‘mandir' movement that defined its politics for three decades and took it to the heights of power.
The guest list, including religious leaders who formed part of the movement that started in the 1980s, was restricted to 175 in view of the COVID-19 crisis. As a priest chanted Sanskrit ‘shlokas' and the ground-breaking ceremony got underway under a giant marquee decorated in shades of reds and yellows, PM Modi and the other dignitaries, all in masks, maintained social distancing and sat a safe distance away from each other.
Slogans of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai' and ‘Har Har Mahadev' went up as the ritual ended and the Prime Minister laid the foundation of the temple. Bhajans and ‘shlokas' were heard as the town, festooned with marigold flowers and yellow and saffron flags, celebrated the beginning of the construction of a grand Ram temple. Roads leading to Ayodhya were adorned with hoardings of the proposed temple and of Ram Lalla, the infant Ram, the deity now housed in a makeshift temple. Most shops were painted in bright yellow. The Prime Minister arrived in Ayodhya in a helicopter where Adityanath among others received him.
Before the function to lay the foundation stone of the 'Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir', the Prime Minister took part in prayers at the Hanumangarhi temple. From there, he travelled to the 'Shri Ram Janmabhoomi' where he performed prayers at the 'Bhagwan Shree Ramlala Virajman'. He also planted a Parijat (Indian night jasmine) sapling. Huge CCTV screens had been set up across the holy city in order to allow the people to watch the ceremony live once it begins. Every street in Ayodhya illuminated with earthen lamps ahead of the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Ram Temple on Wednesday.
People also lit diyas on the banks of Saryu river as part of the 'deepotsava' celebrations in the temple town. The entire Ayodhya city was fully decked up and massive preparations were made for this occasion with a festive air.
Centre’s coronavirus COVID-19 protocols were put in place and the social distancing norms were strictly followed ahead of the much-awaited Ram Temple Bhomi Pujan in Ayodhya, which is slated to begin with great fervor around 12.40 PM.
In wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, sanitisation work was also done at the Hanuman Garhi temple in the morning ahead of the Prime Minister`s visit.
Over 11,000 diyas were lit across the city of Ayodhya, illuminating every street and all household in Ayodhya celebrated 'Deepotsava', a festival of lights.