The process to begin the work of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya began on Monday with the creation of a new place where the deity Ram Lalla will be shifted temporarily. According to Champat Rai, Vishva Hindu Parishad’s vice-president and general secretary of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust, the idol will be shifted from the tent to a new place at dawn on March 25. After the temple’s foundation stone is laid, construction will start, he added.
Rai said the descendant of the erstwhile royal family of Ayodhya, Bimlendra Mohan Mishra, handed over a silver throne for Ram Lalla to the trust on Monday. The 9.5-kg throne has been made in Jaipur and is 25-inch long and 15-inch wide. The height of the throne is 30 inches. Currently, Ram Lalla is seated on a wooden throne which was placed at the Ram Janmabhoomi in 1992.
As many as 15 Vedic priests from Delhi, Prayagraj, Varanasi and Ayodhya are participating in the rituals. "The idol of Ram Lalla will be shifted to a makeshift temple near Manas Bhawan from the existing site on March 25 after purification of the entire route," Rai said, adding that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s visit to Ayodhya to attend the ceremony is not final yet.
Monday’s event was attended by a small number of people, mostly priests, due to the looming threat of coronavirus that has affected over 470 in the country. Devotees have been kept away from the puja due to the coronavirus scare, he said.
Notably, the VHP has already announced to curtail the Sri Ram Mahotsav celebrations in view of the pandemic of novel coronavirus. The Sri Ram Mahotsav celebrations are slated to begin on March 25 on the occasion of Varsh-Pratipada and end on April 8 when Hindus celebrate Hanuman Jayanti. The outfit has urged people to unfurl saffron flags atop their houses and stickers of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi affixed outside the houses. The Ram Navami, which marks the birth of Lord Ram, will fall on April 2.
While the government was expecting a heavy rush of devotees in Ayodhya during Ram Navmi festival, entry of outsiders has been banned due to Covid-10 outbreak. The Yogi Adityanth government has already cancelled the nine-day Ram Mahotsav festivities and also banned community bathing in Sarayu river in the temple town on the occasion.