To attend the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the Ram temple, Prime Minister Narendra Modi left Delhi on Wednesday morning in a special Indian Air Force (IAF) plane and landed in Lucknow around 10.30. am. He then boarded a helicopter which landed at a helipad in Saket Degree College in Ayodhya around 11.30 am. The Prime Minister first went to the 10th century Hanuman Garhi temple where the priest greeted him with a silver crown, a stole embossed with the name of Lord Ram and a headgear.
From there, the Prime Minister reached the Ram temple site where he prayed to the deity, Ram Lalla. A Parijat sapling — considered to be a sacred plant — was planted by the Prime Minister and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath near the garbh grih ahead of the foundation stone laying ceremony.
The main event of the bhoomi poojan ceremony started around 12.30 pm with Ganesh vandana. Amid the chanting of mantras by seven priests, the main shila made of silver was worshipped by Prime Minister Modi. This was followed by bhoomi pujan. Eight other shilas were worshipped. Also, a koormshila – a stone carved in the shape of a turtle — was worshipped. All the shilas will be kept under the foundation of the Ram temple. Thereafter, a pushpanjali and a pradakshina (circumambulation) was performed before the ceremony concluded.
The mukhya yajman (main hosts) for the ceremony were Salil Singhal, nephew of late VHP leader Ashok Singhal, and his wife Madhu.
The ceremony was attended by Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Adityanath, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust chief Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, among others. A postal stamp worth Rs 5 was released by the Prime Minister on the occasion. Thereafter, he addressed the audience before leaving for the helipad around 2.20 pm.