Ayodhya: Better crowd management smoothens Ram Lalla’s darshan - Hindustan Times

Ayodhya: Better crowd management smoothens Ram Lalla’s darshan

Jan 25, 2024 08:28 AM IST

How a reworked strategy, courteous police personnel and scanners worked on Day 2 in Ayodhya to make darshan of deity easier

With better crowd management in place, it took just 50 minutes on an average to cross multiple makeshift barriers and permanent check-posts along the new Janmabhoomi corridor amid incessant chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’, past courteous police personnel and cold scanners for ‘darshan’ of Ram Lalla in his grand abode, a stone marvel, in Ayodhya on Wednesday.

Devotees moving in a queue at the Ram temple in Ayodhya on Wednesday. (Manish Chandra Pandey/HT Photo)
Devotees moving in a queue at the Ram temple in Ayodhya on Wednesday. (Manish Chandra Pandey/HT Photo)

The smooth devotee run on the second day of darshan was a pleasant surprise for those who had witnessed the scramble on Tuesday when the temple opened for commoners – government said five-lakh turned up on opening day then - to test arrangements.

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A quick crowd management plan, put in place by chief minister Yogi Adityanath, worked wonderfully well on Day 2 . The plan was drawn after the chief minister undertook an aerial survey of the Janmabhoomi Path on Tuesday evening and held a round of meetings with local officials on the ground and flew back to send top officials, including principal secretary, home Sanjay Prasad and DG (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar, for management on Wednesday.

Since Wednesday morning, more barriers were in place, darshan was allowed from just the Janmabhoomi Path with the one through the Hanumangarhi side blocked completely for devotees for better crowd control.

The fact that 2.5 lakh devotees visited the temple on Wednesday – half of the opening day figure – meant that Adityanath’s ‘Ram Lalla will give darshan to all, have patience’ appeal and the police in Ayodhya’s border districts regulating the pilgrim flow helped further.

Throughout the Janmabhoomi Path, there was a steady trickle of pilgrims, under the watchful vigil of security forces – from PAC, RPF to CRPF – since the wee hours on Wednesday.

“It took me about 60 minutes. The flow was smooth. Though I lost my footwear, there are no regrets for I got the darshan I had longed for,” said Gajendra S, a photojournalist who queued up early on Wednesday.

There were many who felt that the five-second stay in front of Ram Lalla’s idol, brilliantly sculpted by Mysuru-based Arun Yogiraj and symbolically “brought to life” during Pran Pratishtha by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the presence of top priests, wasn’t enough.

Such people queued up multiple times. “I managed to get a 15 second stay before Ram Lalla in three runs,” said a devotee as he joyously shared his achievement with his family over WhatsApp call.

Such was the vigil inside the temple that police politely discouraged devotees from touching the temple steps as they said the gesture of bending down would be emulated by the rest in the queue, breaking the smooth flow.

Devotees, some of them dressed in their colourful best – many carrying conch shells that they blew in unison till the last barrier – clearly loved the smooth run.

Outside the temple, all along the 13-kilometre Ram Path, especially the point near the Janmabhoomi Path – barriers were put in place to regulate local traffic.

While most vehicular traffic into Ayodhya was subjected to checks, diversions or turned back – the one headed out of the town, too, was made to follow a particular path to ensure that the temple entry point stayed decongested. Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust officials, inundated with incessant requests to facilitate darshan, too, advised callers to either defer their visit plans by sometime or make do with the existing arrangements.

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    Manish Chandra Pandey is a Lucknow-based Senior Assistant Editor with Hindustan Times’ political bureau in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Along with political reporting, he loves to write offbeat/human interest stories that people connect with. Manish also covers departments. He feels he has a lot to learn not just from veterans, but also from newcomers who make him realise that there is so much to unlearn.


    Pawan Dixit has been a journalist for over a decade. He has extensively covered eastern UP for around five years, covered 2012 UP assembly polls, 2014 Lok Sabha polls while being stationed in Varanasi. Now, in Lucknow, he covers outstation political assignments, reports special cases from district court, high court and state information commission

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