Ayodhya drew an immense gathering of devotees, eager to offer prayers and have a glimpse of the newly consecrated Ram Lalla idol.
The consecration ceremony, known as ‘pran pratishtha,’ took place with jubilant celebrations, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi played a central role in performing the main rituals conducted by a selected group of priests.
Devotees began assembling in large numbers as early as 3 am, all set to witness the darshan of the newly consecrated Ram Lalla idol on the morning following the elaborate consecration ceremony. The atmosphere was charged with enthusiasm as locals and visitors from various states gathered near the main gateway along the Ram Path, hoping to gain entry to the temple complex.
The ceremonial gateway, adorned for the consecration ceremony, attracted a growing crowd on Monday. The police, managing the swelling congregation, informed the devotees that the temple would open its doors to the public on Tuesday. For those seeking darshan, the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra website provided specific time slots, allocating mornings from 7 am to 11:30 am and afternoons from 2 pm to 7 pm.
The website also detailed the ‘aarti’ timings, including jagran/shringar at 6:30 am and sandhya aarti at 7:30 pm. Devotees could obtain passes for the ‘aarti’ through both offline and online channels, with offline passes available at the camp office at Shri Ram Janmbhoomi, requiring a valid government identity proof.
The pinnacle of the celebrations was the ‘pran pratishtha’ ceremony, held at 12:29 pm on Monday. The journey leading up to this grand event spanned seven days, commencing on January 16. The ceremony witnessed the participation of people from diverse backgrounds, including representatives of various tribal communities and leaders of major spiritual and religious sects.
The Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Mandir, built in the traditional Nagara style, boasts dimensions of 380 feet (east-west) and 250 feet (north-south). It stands tall at 161 feet above the ground, supported by 392 pillars and featuring 44 doors. The intricately sculpted depictions of Hindu deities, Gods, and Goddesses on the pillars and walls of the temple add to its grandeur.
Inside the sanctum sanctorum of the Ram Mandir, Lord Ram is enthroned in a child-like form. Devotees expressed their joy and awe at the sight, with Tejender Singh from Chandigarh remarking, “Ayodhya has decked up like a bride. We are touched even more to come to terms with the fact that we are going to have ‘darshan’ of the Ram Lalla.”
The vibrant atmosphere around Ayodhya continued to resonate with the echoes of devotion as the devotees’ fervor reached new heights during the grand opening of the Ram Mandir. The culmination of the seven-day ritual leading to the ‘pran pratishtha’ ceremony had not only attracted the local community but also individuals from far-flung regions, creating a tapestry of diverse devotees.
The traditional Nagara architecture of the Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Mandir stood as a testament to the rich cultural heritage, with its dimensions and intricate sculptures capturing the essence of Hindu mythology. The 392 pillars and 44 doors supported the temple, reflecting the meticulous craftsmanship that went into its construction. The sanctum sanctorum, where the child-like Lord Ram was enshrined, became the focal point of spiritual reverence for the multitude of worshippers.
Another devotee, who traveled all the way from Odisha, shared his journey of 1224 kilometers on a bike to have darshan of Lord Ram in Ayodhya. “I was very eager to have ‘darshan’ of Lord Ram Lalla. When I was asked on my way where I was going, I said that I was going to have darshan of Lord Ram at the temple which was not built for over 500 years,” he expressed.
The devotion of the pilgrims was further evident as devotees braved the intense cold weather to take a dip in the Saryu River by the temple, adding a spiritual dimension to their pilgrimage. The grand opening of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya marked a momentous occasion, weaving together faith, celebration, and a deep sense of spiritual fulfillment for the countless devotees in attendance.
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