August 3, 2021 5:23:11 am
A special puja and other rituals are reportedly being planned to mark the first anniversary of the Ayodhya Ram temple’s bhoomi pujan (foundation-laying ceremony) on Thursday. The event is not likely to be a grand affair because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
While the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust that is in charge of the temple’s construction has not yet announced any official plans to mark the anniversary, the temple’s chief priest Mahant Satyendra Das and state information department officials said Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was likely to attend the event.
“We are making plans to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the bhoomi pujan, but all the things will be from the side of the Trust itself. I cannot say what exactly will be the form of celebration, but there will definitely be something. As far as the chief minister is concerned, there is a possibility that he may come. The event, however, is yet to be decided,” said Satyendra Das.
Sources in Ayodhya suggested that a special puja would be organised at the spot where Prime Minister Modi had done the bhoomi pujan last year on August 5. A special havan (oblations) and kalash sthapana — a ritual to ensure prosperity — might be organised to mark the occasion, and prasad (offerings to the deity) would be distributed among local people. Das suggested that Ram Lalla, or the idol of infant Ram that will be worshipped at the temple, would be adorned with new clothes.
Trust member Kameshwar Chaupal said any event would be low key and would not be organised at the scale it was done last year. He said all Covid-19 protocols would be followed, and added that the primary aim of any event organised would be to expedite the construction work and ensure that the promise to complete it within 36 months gets fulfilled.
At present, experts involved in the construction of the temple are filling a large area with roller-compacted concrete after removing debris.The process began in March, and is expected to be finished by October. Construction workers have to spread around 40-45 layers of concrete to ensure the ground is of proper strength. So far, close to 20 layers have been completed.
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