Preparations for the Ram mandir bhoomi poojan in Ayodhya, scheduled for August 5, are on in full swing, with the city being painted in yellow – the colour of knowledge and auspiciousness.
The prayers and the ceremony are to start Tuesday morning with the worship of Lord Hanuman’s mark in Ayodhya, as he is believed to preside over the city. The programme was scheduled for Sunday but was postponed due to the weekend lockdowns in Uttar Pradesh amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Continuous Akhand Ramayan recitation in all local temples and a Deepotsava by lighting oil lamps in houses, temples and the Saryu River on the night of August 4 and 5 have been announced.
An invitation to the programme, written in red and black over a yellow background, has already been mailed to the guests, asking them to be present at Karsevakpuram in Ayodhya by Tuesday 4 pm for the historical bhoomi poojan. The event on Wednesday is to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Sources close to the Shri Ram Janambhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, which is the organiser of the event, said that the list of more than 260 invitees has been trimmed to 175, to ensure social distancing.
The list includes 133 saints and seers from 36 spiritual traditions all over the country, along with BJP leaders, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) office bearers and dignitaries connected to the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), among others.
A few confirmed names, apart from PM Modi, are UP Governor Anandi Ben Patel, CM Yogi Adityanath, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Trust president Mahant Nritya Gopal Das.
On Wednesday, PM Modi is expected to start the event by offering prayers at the famous Hanuman Garhi temple, where he is scheduled to spend no more than seven minutes. He is then expected to visit the makeshift Ram Lalla temple made of wood and glass, where he will be given chandan and prasad after he offers flowers to the deity.
The bhoomi poojan will include chanting of mantras, and after shovelling the earth, worship of the ground and the shila. As per officials in Ayodhya, a 22.60 kg brick made of pure silver will be used for the bhoomi poojan ceremony.
Keeping in mind Covid norms, arrangements are such that all those attending will sit at a distance of six feet from each other. Only five people, including PM Modi, Anandi Ben Patel, Adityanath, Bhagwat and Mahant Das are expected to sit on the main stage.
Following the Wednesday programme, the construction of the temple will begin in full swing. Members of the trust claim the construction will take between six months and a year.