Ram Lalla shifted from makeshift temple in Ayodhya after 27 yearsUpdated: Mar 25, 2020 18:04 IST
LUCKNOW The Ram Lalla idol was shifted from the makeshift temple to a pre-fabricated temporary temple within the Ram Janmabhoomi premises in Ayodhya on Wednesday morning.
UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath presided over the ceremony that took place around 4.30am.
Ram Lalla, the presiding deity of the Ram Janmabhoomi, was shifted from the sanctum sanctorum (makeshift temple) after 27 years (December 6, 1992).
The ceremony held on first day of nine-day-long Navratra (March 25 – April 2) was organised by the Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirath Kshetra Trust. Only priests and members of the Trust were present at the event. No locals and media persons were allowed.
Priests from New Delhi, Varanasi and Ayodhya performed Vedic rituals. These rituals began on March 23 and continued till the shifting of the deity took place on Wednesday (March 25).
Adityanath had reached Ayodhya on Tuesday (March 24) evening.
Prominent people present on the occasion were general secretary of the Trust Champat Rai, its members including Mahant Dhinendra Das, Vimlendra Mohan Pratap Mishra and Anil Mishra.
Additional chief secretary (home) Awanish Awasthi, who is the state government’s representative in the Trust and district magistrate of Ayodhya Anuj Jha (ex-officio member of the Trust) were also present.
Chairman of the Trust Mahant Nritya Gopal Das was not present. He was represented by Mahant Kamal Nayan Das, heir to Nritya Gopal Das.
However, questions were also being raised at the ceremony after the Centre issued orders on Tuesday for a nationwide lockdown till April 14 to check the spread of coronavirus.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had issued an appeal on Tuesday through a live telecast on national broadcaster Doordarshan requesting people to stay indoors during 21-day lockdown period till April 14 to stop spread of coronavirus.
“The ceremony was organised by the Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirath Kshetra Trust. It was pre-decided to shift Ram Lalla on the first day of Navratra (March 25-April 2). Only members of the Trust and priests were allowed to attend the ceremony,” said Champat Rai, general secretary of the Trust.
Around 15 lakh devotees were expected to arrive in Ayodhya during nine-day Navratri festival staring from March 25 and for Ram Navami Mela on April 2 (last day of Navratri).
However, the Ayodhya administration had already cancelled all Navratri celebrations, including the Ram Navami Mela.
On November 9, the Supreme Court ended the decades old Ayodhya title suit dispute by ruling in favour of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.