Deepotsav celebrations began on Friday in Ayodhya in the presence of Uttar Pradesh governor Anandiben Patel and chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
The Diwali event also saw the lighting of a record 5.84 lakh earthen lamps on the banks of the River Saryu in Ayodhya, thus making it to Guinness world records.
Several new development projects were launched to mark the occasion.
“Our generation is not only fortunate to see the start of the construction of a Ram temple here but we also attended the historic event. In the struggle of 500 years, many saints passed away with a dream to see the start of construction. I thank PM Modi who is the one who implemented the ideology of Ram Rajya,” Yogi Adityanath said while addressing the ‘Deepotsav’ event, according to news agency PTI.
“We have celebrated Deepotsav following all Covid-19 guidelines, we must follow the same during the construction of Ram Mandir. Let us pledge to observe ‘do gaj ki doori, mask hai zaroori’ during this Diwali,” he added, according to news agency ANI.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had performed the ‘bhoomi pujan’ of a Supreme Court-mandated Ram temple in Ayodhya on August 5 this year.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Uttar Pradesh started Deepotsav celebration in Ayodhya after Yogi Adityanath became the chief minister in March 2017.
The celebrations began from Friday afternoon itself when a grand coronation procession of Lord Ram started from Saket College in Ayodhya to reach the riverbank after covering a stretch of about five kilometres. The procession has 11 tableaux, built on the Ramayana themes, participating in it.
The themes include Gurukul Shiksha, Ram-Sita Vivah, Kewat Prasang, Ram Darbaar, Shabri-Ram Milaap and Lanka Dahan among others. Besides the Saryu bank, the Ram Janmabhoomi, the site of upcoming Ram temple, was lit up by 11,000 earthen lamps in the evening, when a grand Aarti was held at the Saryu river after the sunset.
In her speech, the Governor said Ram and Ramrajya were “inseparable parts of the Indian culture” and spoke at length about the ideals of the Maryada Purushottam.
She advised the people not to lower their guards in their fight against the Covid-19 pandemic till it was finished.
Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya, BJP state president Swatantra Dev Singh and a number of saints and ministers were also present on the occasion.
(With inputs from ANI)
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