A day after the celebrations over the bhoomi pujan ceremony for the Ram temple, Ayodhya, a town now painted in yellow and saffron, was back to its normal state – as normal as it could be in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Shops were open, but there were hardly any customers.
People, who had come from different parts of the country to witness the bhoomi pujan, left the temple town.
There were traffic jams till late Wednesday night as devotees headed back to their destinations. Celebrations continued till late Wednesday night as residents lit diyas in their houses as well as almost every big and small temple and sang bhajans and kirtans.
With the conclusion of bhoomi pujan, the discussion on the streets have now shifted to two things – when will the temple construction begin and how long it will take to see it realise.
According to a member of the Ram Janambhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, the construction for the grand Ram temple will begin in the next 7-10 days.
“The levelling of the ground is already over. Teams of Larsen & Toubro are here and they are expected to start the actual construction in the next 7-10 days. All the stones and pillars kept at the karyashala of Ram Janam Bhoomi Nyas will be shifted and used in the construction,” Anil Mishra said.
While earlier it was claimed that the temple will take just six to twelve months to complete, now there is a growing sense of realisation that it could take more than a year as the size of the proposed temple has been increased and the plans have become grander than before.
The original structure of the temple will remain the same, but the outer dimensions will be increased. The number of spires has been increased from three to five. They will be now 161 feet tall, including the flag, instead of 128 decided earlier. The temple area has been also doubled from 27,000 sq ft to 52,442 sqft,” Trust member Kameshwar Chaupal said, adding that the plan had to be revised to incorporate a futuristic vision amid the increasing excitement of people.
According to Chaupal, twice the amount of stones, already in Ayodhya, is yet to be brought, and that could stretch the construction schedule.
Anticipating a huge footfall, the Trust has decided to keep four gates of the temple in three different directions.
“Even if one lakh devotees visit the temple in a day, there will be enough space for them,” said Chaupal.
At the shops leading to the temple, there is also another issue much talked about – the road widening and the beautification project. The shopkeepers are worried that redevelopment of the area could result in their displacement. However, the administration is yet to confirm, saying that it has not received any such direction till now.
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