Lucknow, Aug 05: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for fulfiling the dreams of generations of Indians who could not see the realisation of their dreams in their lifetime in the form of the Ram Mandir.
The first brick of the grand Ram Temple by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at 12:44 pm, as per the 'muhurat' for 'bhoomi pujan'.
Modi is among the 175 people present at the ceremony. He shared the dais with just four other people - RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, trust chief Nritya Gopaldas Maharaj, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, and CM Yogi Adityanath. Keeping in mind the pandemic, seating arrangements are made in accordance with social distancing principles.
The ceremony started at around 8 am and end at about 2 pm. The main "bhumi pujan" took place at 12.30 pm and the foundation stone was laid at 12.40 pm.
PM Modi also unveiled a plaque to mark the laying of the foundation stone of the temple, followed by the release of a commemorative postage stamp on 'Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir'. After the event, Modi would address the gathering before leaving for the helipad.
The bhoomi and shila pujan includes chanting of mantras, and after shovelling the earth, a worship of the ground and shila. Officials in Ayodhya said 40-kg brick made of pure silver will be used for the bhoomi pujan. Soil has been brought in from more than 1500 places, while holy water has been collected from 2,000 places.
Roads leading to Ayodhya displayed hoardings with the picture of the proposed Ram temple and of Ram Lalla, the infant Ram, the deity now housed in a makeshift temple.
For the BJP, the beginning of construction of a grand temple in Ayodhya is an ideological victory over its rivals with even many Opposition leaders now welcoming the development.
Incidentally, the ground-breaking ceremony by Modi, in the presence of leading lights of Hindutva movement including RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, is being conducted on August 5, which coincides with the first anniversary of the annulment of Article 370, another key ideological plank for the saffron party.