The Ram Mandir is finally becoming a reality with the bhumi pujan slated for Wednesday at the birthplace of the Hindu deity in Ayodhya town of Uttar Pradesh. The bhumi pujan will be performed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the presence of seers and eminent guests whom the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra has extended an invitation.
The historic event of bhumi pujan will mark the culmination of five centuries long battle of Hindus who believed that Lord Ram was born at the site where Babri Masjid was erected in the 15th century.
Ram Mandir guest list
According to the temple trust, 175 eminent guests including 135 seers belonging to as many spiritual traditions, will be present at the Ram Janmabhoomi when PM Modi will perform the bhumi pujan. Those who have been invited to become a part of the historic occasion include PM Modi, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben patel, CM Yogi Adityanath, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Mahant Nritya Gopaldas. Besides, invitations have also been extended to BJP veteran Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi. The two will, however, join the ceremony via video link.
BJP leader Uma Bharti, whom the trust had invited, will skip the ceremony but will be present on the banks of Saryu river. She will visit the site after PM Modi and others leave. The decision has been taken in view of the Covid outbreak. Union Home Minister Amit Shah will also skip the bhumi pujan ceremony as he has tested Covid-19 positive and is undergoing treatment at a Gurugram hospital.
Other eminent dignitaries who will attend the ceremony include BJP national president JP Nadda, MLA Lallu Singh, BJP leader Vinay Katiyar, UP deputy CMs Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, UP Cabinet ministers Suresh Khanna and Chaudhary Lakshmi Narayan Singh, Pawan Singhal from VHP leader Ashok Singhal’s family, Narendra Giri of Akhada Parishad, Sadhvi Ritambhara, yoga guru Ramdev, spritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, BHU Jyotish Department HoD Vinay Pandey.
Ram Mandir invitation card
The invitation card mentions Prime Minister Narendra Modi and three more names — Mohan Bhagwat, Anandiben Patel and Yogi Adityanath. According to news agency ANI, the first invitation for the event was sent to Iqbal Ansari, one of the Muslim litigants in the Ayodhya dispute. Padma Shri recipient Mohammad Sharif, honoured for cremating over 10,000 unclaimed bodies, has also been invited.
“We have also invited Iqbal Ansari and Padma Shri, Mohammed Sharif to the foundation stone laying ceremony,” According to the temple trust’s general secretary, Champat Rai said.
Rai said the guest list has been vastly trimmed in view of the coronavirus outbreak.
Salil Singhal, the nephew of late VHP leader Ashok Singhal, will be the “yajmaan” (ritual patron) at the ceremony. Hindu seers from Nepal have also been invited as Janakpur has relations with Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Ayodhya.
PM Modi to perform bhumi pujan
As per the itinerary released on Tuesday, the Prime Minister will leave from Delhi at 9:35 am. He will first go to Lucknow on a special plane and from there to Ayodhya on a helicopter. He will straightaway go to Hanuman Garhi for Lord Hanuman’s darshan. Special puja and Vedic rituals have been going on at the site since Monday. Prayers are also being held at Hanuman Garhi.
From Hanuman Garhi, PM Modi will go to the Ram Janmabhoomi. He will place a silver brick at Lord Ram’s birthplace. As per reports, the silver brick weighs 22.6 kg and costs around ₹15,59,000. Also, the name of PM Modi, date and time, ‘Jai Shri Ram’ are inscribed on the brick.
As per the reports, the brick will be placed at the site at 12:15 pm. The brick is inked with markings of Swastika, ceremonial adornments of haldi, kumkum and kumkum infused threads. The Prime Minister will plant a ‘parijat’ (coral jasmine) tree in the premises.
The entire event will be telecast live on Doordarshan, the national broadcaster.
Champat Rai said that the ceremony will go on till 2 pm. An inscription of the temple will also be inaugurated on Wednesday. He said that the Uttar Pradesh government will release a postal stamp, which is based on the temple design.
Tight security in Ayodhya
On invitation being sent to a limited number of people, Rai said that list of invitees was prepared after discussions with Advani, Joshi, lawyer K Parasaran and other dignitaries. He said that many things have been taken care of while inviting guests for the ceremony in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, tight security arrangements are in place at Ayodhya for the Ram Mandir bhumi pujan. All roads leading to Ayodhya are shut for vehicular movements. Rai said each invitation card has a security code that will work only once. He said if the guest exits the venue they will not be allowed back in.
Ram Mandir design
The Ram Mandir will be almost double the size of what was originally planned as its design was modified, architect Chandrakant Sompura, who has designed it, said. The temple will be constructed in Nagara style of architecture. It will have five domes instead of two as envisaged earlier to accommodate more number of devotees. The temple will have a shikhara (tower) over the sanctum sanctorum. The temple will be 161 feet tall and the width of the stairs will be 16 feet.
The Ram Mandir is likely to be completed in the next three years.
Ram Mandir verdict
The five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice of India (now retired) Ranjan Gogoi had on November 9 last year unanimously ruled that the disputed land in Ayodhya belongs to Ram Lalla. The SC had on August 6 began day-to-day hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case after the mediation panel set up by the court failed to draw a consensus between the stakeholders. The five-judge bench in its order also directed the government to provide five acres of land to the Sunni Waqf Board in a “suitable, prominent place in Ayodhya”, adding that the Muslims should not be deprived of a structure.