Raising the Ayodhya pitch, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath
accompanied by a battery of central and state government ministers will converse in the temple town on the eve of Diwali
with an attempt to create a Guinness World record
by lighting record number of diyas (earthen pots).
To add to the carnival, artists from South East Asian countries viz. Indonesia and Thailand would stage Ramlila
at the decked up banks of Saryu, apart from a dazzling about 22-minute laser show themed on epic Ramayan.
Yogi’s Ayodhya sojourn on October 18 comes in the backdrop of his government proposing to build a grand 100 metre Lord Ram statue in Ayodhya, the birthplace of Ram according to popular Hindu mythology. However, the estimated Rs 200 crore project would first require clearance by the National
Green Tribunal (NGT).
Earlier, UP Shia Central Waqf Board chairman Waseem Rizvi had extended support for the proposed Ram statue observing that the project would encapsulate the essence Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb (communal harmony) of the Awadh region.
Meanwhile, Yogi would partake in ‘Deeputsav’ on Wednesday, a day before Diwali
falls on October 19, in the presence of union tourism minister K J Alphons and culture minister Mahesh Sharma. The event would attempt to recreate the homecoming of Ram to Ayodhya after defeating demon king Ravan, for which Diwali
Interestingly, the Supreme Court is due to resume its hearing in the Ayodhya case from December and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is keen to keep the issue alive alluding to its new position of heeding the apex court verdict in the vexed issue.
However, the state government has maintained the purpose of the Ayodhya extravaganza was to attract tourists and promote religious tourism in the region. Yogi would lay the foundation for a number of tourism and development projects during his stay.
A record number of over 1,70,000 diyas would be illuminated on the banks of Saryu for the world record bid by bettering the previous record of lighting about 1,50,000 diyas in Ayodhya last year. Governor Ram Naik and Yogi would also perform ‘aarti’ at the Saryu banks. A large number of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) are also expected to be present in Ayodhya.
Several props would be decorated to depict themes and events narrated in Ramayan with featuring artists playing the key Ramayan characters of Ram, Sita and Lakshman would be staged. A two-km heritage walk through Ayodhya, a Shobha Yatra (ceremonial walk) to depict the homecoming of Ram in Ayodhya and a symbolic Rajyabhishek (coronation) are also planned.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made considering high profile visits, Diwali
festivities and cultural programmes lined up in Ayodhya.