Diyas were lit, flowers from different parts of the country adorned columns, walls inside and outside the new Ram temple, around 8,000 chairs awaited special invitees, dignitaries and celebrities, and the old idol of Ram Lalla Virajman was brought to the sanctum sanctorum as rituals continued all of Sunday, setting the stage for the Pran Pratishtha, the consecration ceremony, of the new idol in the new temple in Ayodhya Monday.
The temple town wore a festive look as guests streamed in, ahead of the consecration ceremony that will start shortly after noon Monday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will take part in the ceremony, is expected to reach Ayodhya at 10:45 am and will be at the Ram Janmabhoomi temple site at 10.55 am.
Officials said the Prime Minister’s schedule has been fixed. He will participate in the consecration ceremony from 12.05 pm to 12:55 pm and then leave for a public function where he will address a gathering between 1 pm and 2 pm.
Modi’s visit is scheduled to end with a darshan at Kuber Tila around 2 pm. An ancient Shiva temple on Kuber Tila has undergone renovation and a huge statue of Jatayu has also been installed there. Sources said Modi will offer prayers at the Shiva temple and unveil the Jatayu statue.
A major part of rituals or “Adhivas”, which began January 16, ended Sunday. The day’s rituals began with “Madhvadhivas” during which the 51-inch new idol of Ram Lalla was covered with honey. The idol was then bathed with medicated water from 114 kalash (urns) as part of the “Snapan” ritual.
The old idol or “Utsav” murti was placed in a palki decorated with flowers and taken for a tour of the new temple before being taken inside.
As the rituals continued late evening Sunday, the priests said the eyes of the new idol, closed with a blindfold on January 16, will be opened after it is bathed with water from 114 kalash as part of the ritual. After the blindfold is removed, the idol will be shown a mirror to “absorb energy, created through chanting of mantras and rituals over the last 6 days”.
Ghee and honey, kept in a silver bowl, will be applied on the eyes of the idol with a gold stick. Along with the new idol, the old idol will also be placed inside the garbha griha and also bathed.
The rituals of “Adhivas” ended with “Shayandhivas” – it means that the idol has been symbolically put to “sleep” after 6 days of rituals.
Officials associated with the rituals said quilts from Jaipur and a sheesham carved bed had come for the Sunday ceremony. While the bed was kept at the feet of the idol, the idol was covered with quilts.
On Monday, priests will reach the temple around 8.30 am to start the remaining rituals. The havan will continue even after the completion of the consecration ceremony.