Ayodhya Gears Up for Ram Navami; 25 Lakh Visitors Expected at Second Biggest Event After ‘Pran Pratishtha’newsbhunt

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Flower petals being showered on the Ram Lalla idol during 'Rangotsav' celebrations at the Ram Temple, in Ayodhya. (Image: PTI)

Flower petals being showered on the Ram Lalla idol during ‘Rangotsav’ celebrations at the Ram Temple, in Ayodhya. (Image: PTI)

The Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir will be open for 19 hours on Ram Navami while all VIP visits have been cancelled till April 18. The police are on high alert, even as random spot checks and rehearsals are being conducted in anticipation of the crowd

Ayodhya’s Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir is gearing up for its first Ram Navami on Wednesday (April 17), set to be the second biggest event after the ‘pran pratishtha’ that took place in January. More than 25 lakh visitors are expected to visit the temple to offer their prayers to the Ram Lalla idol.

Officials from the Ayodhya district administration are conducting random spot checks and rehearsals in anticipation of the crowd. They said visitors will be arriving at the temple town in more than 90 flights, 100 trains and 500 buses. Besides, the police have sounded a high alert, cancelled VIP darshans till April 18 and made elaborate security arrangements.

“In view of the anticipated turnout on the first Ram Navami after the consecration ceremony, it has been decided that the Ram temple will remain open for 19 hours giving visitors the chance for a darshan,” said an appeal by the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, which manages the temple.

Besides, the trust also extended an appeal to VIPs and VVIPs to visit Ram temple only after April 19, while cancelling all special darshan passes till April 18. Trust officials said the temple will be open for darshan from Mangala Aarti at 3.30 am to 11 pm. Curtains will be drawn for five minutes each during the four ‘bhog’ offerings to the deity and stay open the rest of the time.

“Preparations are underway for the ‘Surya Tilak’ of the Ram Lalla idol at Ayodhya’s Ram Mandir. The sacred event will take place on April 17 at noon, projecting sunlight onto the idol’s forehead in the ‘garbhagriha’. The spectacular event will last 4 to 5 minutes and marks the celebration of Ram Navami,” the officials said.

According to the trust, the Ayodhya civic body will put up 100 LED screens across town for the live telecast of the celebrations at the Ram Mandir. “Live telecast of Ram Navami celebrations will be available, so devotees are requested to watch the proceedings from their homes. Avoid unnecessary rush to Ayodhya on Ram Navami,” the official said.

Though the trust will keep the temple open for 19 hours on Ram Navami so that visitors get a maximum window for darshan, the police and administration are leaving no stone unturned to be prepared.

“The entire city has been divided into seven zones and 39 sectors for security reasons. We have also set up a control room in Ayodhya regarding the Ram Navami fair, which will also be held on the occasion. Officers will be deployed 24 hours in the control room… A helpline number has also been issued for this,” said Ayodhya divisional commissioner Gaurav Dayal.

While giving information about the fair, administrative officials said the numbers for the fair control room are: 05278-232043, 232044, 232046, 232047, 9120989195, 9454402642.

These will remain functional 24 hours. “Strict instructions have been given to the concerned officers to visit their respective zone/sector areas in advance to be aware of the situation and to work in coordination with the zonal incharges/sector incharges. Magistrates and other officials of Ghat Zone, Nageshwarnath Zone, Hanumangarhi Temple Zone, Kanak Bhawan Temple Zone have been instructed to remain alert in view of Ram Navami,” the Dayal said, adding that health, power department and civic body officials have also been engaged in duties related to their departments.

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