With the mercury dropping in the state, priests and authorities in Ayodhya are taking care to ensure the comfort of the “Ram Lalla” idol, and the idols of the deity’s brothers in a makeshift temple in the town. They have installed a blower heater in the temple, and covered the deities with a blanket.
While this is the second time since the Babri Mosque demolition that such an arrangement has been made, this year the process was much easier following the Supreme Court’s decision in the Ayodhya dispute last November. No paperwork and permissions were required this time.
Last year, similar arrangements were made after local Hindu religious leaders, along with some Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) members, made a request to the Ayodhya Commissioner. Before the court decision, the commissioner was the receiver of the temple.
“We have installed a blower heater in the makeshift temple to ensure that the temperature is under control and our deities do not suffer in this cold. Along with that, the deities have been given warm clothes and have been covered in a blanket. Earlier we thought of making a fireplace too but as the makeshift temple is made of wood and glass, it will not be safe. The arrangements made will continue till the winter is here and meanwhile, we will keep thinking of any other way we can ensure more comfort to the deities,” the Ram Lalla temple’s chief priest, Mahant Satyendra Das, told The Indian Express.
He pointed out that the temple already had an air-conditioner to keep the deities “comfortable” in summer. Similar arrangements for both the seasons exist in almost every major place of worship in the temple town.
The makeshift temple, situated around a few hundred metres from the Ram Janambhoomi site, has the deities of “Ram Lalla”, and his brothers Bharat, Lakshman and Shatrughan along with deity Hanuman and Bhagwan Shaligram, who is represented by an oval black stone. While the four brothers are on one platform, Hanuman and Bhagwan Shaligram are on two separate platforms. The construction of a Ram temple is expected to start on December 15.
Local VHP leader and spokesperson Sharad Sharma said this year no permissions were sought from local authorities, unlike last year. “Last year we had met the Ayodhya Commissioner back in October and told him that ‘Ram Lalla’, who is the symbol of our faith, is shivering in the cold and arrangements should be made to keep his room warmer. We had asked permission for a room heater and blankets. We were granted the permission back then,” he added.
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