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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

Ram Lalla at Ayodhya’s makeshift temple gets blower to beat the chill

The step has been taken after the Vishwa Hindu Parishad recently threatened protest over the alleged neglect of the deity

india Updated: Dec 24, 2017 10:04 IST
Pawan Dixit
Pawan Dixit
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
A file photo of makeshift Ram temple in Ayodhya.
A file photo of makeshift Ram temple in Ayodhya.

A blower has been installed at the makeshift temple at Ayodhya’s disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid site to keep Ram Lalla (infant Ram) warm in the winter after VHP threatened to protest the alleged neglect of the deity.

This is for the first time since its inception in 1992 such a device has been installed in the temple for the comfort of the deity.

The makeshift temple was built after Babri Masjid was pulled down by a mob of kar sevaks in December 1992, nearly 43 years after the idols were found inside the mosque.

The deity and his three younger brothers are, however, yet to get new woollen clothes and quilts as was demanded by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. The idols are at present clad in old woolens.

The pan-Hindu organisation recently demanded a blower, new woollens and quilts for the idols of Ram Lalla and his three younger siblings-- Laxman, Bharat and Shatrughan.

The VHP had also sought a quilt for Hanuman, the monkey god, whose idol is also installed at the makeshift temple.

Ayodhya divisional commissioner Manoj Mishra, who is also the court-appointed receiver of the makeshift temple, had issued instruction for arranging a blower for the deity.

“Our demand has been fulfilled partially. Ram Lalla has been provided with a blower. We are waiting for the district administration to arrange warm clothes,” Sharad Sharma, the VHP state spokesperson told HT over the phone from Ayodhya.

Mahant Satyendra Das, who has been head priest of the temple for over 25 years, also confirmed the development.

Das, however, regretted that the deity was still waiting for a new set of winter clothes.

“Earlier, there was no dearth of clothes for Ram Lalla and his brothers. Be it summer or winter, they had enough clothes. In fact, we had a problem of plenty,” he recalled.

Things changed after six heavily armed terrorists made an attempt to storm the makeshift temple on July 5, 2005. Prior to the attack in which all six terrorists were killed in a 90-minute gun battle, devotees were allowed to offer clothes, blankets, utensils and other items at the temple.

Now they are allowed to offer only ‘anardana’ (small, sugar-coated balls).

“The administration must lift the ban and allow devotees to offer clothes to the deity,” Das demanded, adding, “This will solve the problem of shortage of clothes for Ram Lalla and his brothers.”

Four sets of clothes, one each for Ram Lalla and his three brothers, are needed every day. The clothes of the deities are changed all seven days a week.

Every month, the head priest of the makeshift temple gets Rs 76,000 for maintenance of the temple from the receiver.

This includes Rs 51,000 for the salary of the five priests and four other employees, who are the only people allowed inside the makeshift temple.

Besides, another Rs 24,100 is provided for the various meals for Ram Lalla, his three brothers and Hanuman.

Clothes for Ram Lalla and his brothers were stitched since 1985 till his death by Babu Lal, a local tailor and after that his son Bhagwat Prasad ‘Pahadi’ and Shankar Lal took up the task.

In another first, chief minister Yogi Adityanath had celebrated Deepotsav on Diwali eve in Ayodhya on October 17.

As many as 1.71 lakh earthen lamps were lit up as part of the grand Diwali celebrations in the temple town.

First Published: Dec 24, 2017 10:02 IST

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