Ayodhya visit is highlight of President Ram Nath Kovind ’s 4-day trip to UP
President Ram Nath Kovind will become the first President to pay obeisance to Ram Lalla in Ayodhya and also pray at the under construction Ram temple site during his four-day visit to Uttar Pradesh that begins on Thursday. As per his itinerary, which has not been released officially, he will also attend convocation and foundation laying ceremonies, but the highlight of the trip will be a journey to Ayodhya on a special train from Lucknow on Sunday, officials aware of the developments said.
President Kovind is likely to attend the ninth convocation of Lucknow’s Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU) as his first engagement on Thursday, however, an official schedule has yet not been received by authorities there.
On the second day, he is expected to unveil a statue of former UP chief minister Dr Sampurnanand and inaugurate an auditorium at the Captain Manoj Pandey Sainik School in Lucknow, officials said. The President, they added, would also attend the 26th convocation of Lucknow’s Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS).
On Saturday, Kovind will lay the foundation stone of Ayush University and inaugurate Mahayogi Guru Gorakhnath University in Gorakhpur. Ahead of the President’s visit, chief minister Yogi Adityanath visited Gorakhpur to review preparations for the event.
Gorakhnath university, a private institution, has been established by the Gorakhnath Temple Trust and named after Guru Gorakhnath, the founder of Nath Panth. Gorakhpur will now have four universities.
An officer said the state government plans to spend ₹815 crore on the construction of Ayush University on 52 acres of land acquired near Pipri and Tarkulhi villages. The PWD has earmarked ₹299.87 crore for the construction of the university.
Though the President’s final itinerary hasn’t been announced, it is being speculated that he might visit the Gorakhnath temple too. Chief minister Yogi Adityanath is the head priest of the temple.
On Sunday, President Kovind will go to Ayodhya from Lucknow by a special train.
“He will launch various projects of the state government’s department of culture and tourism, including renovation and construction of Tulsi Smarak Bhavan and the development of a bus stand in the city. The President is also expected to visit the site where the Ram temple is coming up in Ayodhya. He will also perform pooja at the site,” an officer said.
Ahead of the President’s visit, chief minister Yogi Adityanath called on governor Anandiben Patel on Wednesday evening. While officials described it as a “courtesy call”, it is learnt that the two leaders discussed the President’s four-day visit.