The new idol of Lord Ram was placed inside Ayodhya’s Ram Janmabhoomi temple on Thursday afternoon, days ahead of the grand consecration ceremony on January 22. The first photo of the idol – made in black stone – depicts the deity as a five-year-old child in a standing posture.
The face of the 51-inch idol, sculpted by Mysuru-based artist Arun Yogiraj, was covered with a veil.
Earlier today, the Ram Lalla idol was placed in the sanctum sanctorum amid the chanting of prayers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the January 22 ‘pran pratishtha’ or consecration ceremony at the Ram temple, which is expected to be opened to the public the next day.
“Pran Pratistha’ means imbibing the idol with divine consciousness and is a must for every idol that is worshipped in a temple.
The Prime Minister has urged the public not to visit Ayodhya on January 22 as “we would not like to cause any problems to Lord Ram”, adding that everyone can come starting January 23.
He has also asked every Indian to light a diya in their house on January 22.
Over 11,000 guests have been invited by the temple trust and they include cricket legends Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli, Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan.
The ceremony will also be attended by all the trustees of the temple trust, seers of about 150 sects and more than 500 people associated with the construction of the temple, who have been named the “Engineer Group”.
Rituals leading to the consecration ceremony have already begun at the temple, constructed at what many devout believe marks the spot where Lord Ram was born.
PM Modi is also strictly following a set of rules and rituals ahead of participation in the grand event, sources said. Sources said the Prime Minister is sleeping on the floor with only a blanket and has been only drinking coconut water.