This Diwali, Ram returns victorious to a hi-tech Ayodhya. Yogi Adityanath's Uttar Pradesh government will be celebrating the festival with gusto, announcing projects worth Rs 133 crore. A total of 108 poor families will be given free electricity connections. The celebrations don't end there – the government aims to set a record by lighting 1.71 lakh diyas.
This massive scale celebration is not only in honour of Ram returning from vanvas (exile) after 14 years, but also a BJP government's return to Uttar Pradesh after a gap of 15 years.
As Chief Minister Yogi personally oversees all the preparations, the state government can see a boost in tourism in Ayodhya, while the BJP sees a political advantage. This time is crucial. While Himachal and Gujarat inch closer to the Vidhan Sabha elections, UP has begun its countdown for the municipal elections.
The Number ‘108’ Has a Special Significance
In Hinduism, the figure '108' holds a special significance and is considered auspicious. The state Chief Minister is an ardent follower of the Sanatan Dharma, and has therefore consciously chosen to electrify the homes of '108' poor families.
A Day of Festivities
There are several programs lined up in Ayodhya on 18 October (from 7 am to 10 pm). Yogi Adityanath will personally attend the festivities, and will lay the foundation for new projects worth Rs 133 crore.
The first two hours of the program are scheduled for a heritage walk from Kanchan Bhawan to Nageshwar Dham. After 9 am, 108 poor families will be provided with free electricity and clothes.
At 2 pm, Ram Leela jhankis or tableaux will leave from Ayodhya's KS Saket PG College. The procession will stop three kilometres ahead, at Ram Katha Park.
In a grand welcome, Ram, Lakshman and Sita will descend from a helicopter at Ram Katha Park. The coronation ceremony will begin at 4 pm.
The record for lighting 1.71 lakh diyas is expected to be set at 6:30 pm during the Maha Aarti on the banks of the Sarayu river. The previous Guinness record has been set for 1.5 lakh diyas.
A Laser Show at 7, Ram Leela at 8
Ayodhyawaasis will be treated to a spectacular laser show on the ghats of the Sarayu. And finally, the festivities of the day will come to an end with a production of the Ram Leela, for which troops from Thailand and Indonesia have also been roped in.
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