Ayodhya Ram Temple: With the date of the consecration ceremony of Lord Rama's idol at Ram Janmabhoomi drawing near, the city hotels in this Uttar Pradesh district are seeing a rush among travel agents and devotees to book rooms in advance.
While it is being speculated that the ceremony may be held between 15 January to 24 January, the exact date of the function is yet to become officially clear. Hoteliers and resort owners in the city are expecting a massive influx of devotees to witness the historic event with several of them claiming that parties are trying to book rooms for 10 to 12 days to ensure that they do not miss out on the historic event at the last moment.
Taking note of the expected rush for the ceremony, Divisional Commissioner (DC) Gaurav Dayal on Wednesday convened a meeting of hotel owners of Ayodhya in preparation and instructed them to decorate their hotels to give a warm welcome to their guests during the consecration ceremony.
"We are regularly receiving calls from Delhi, Bombay and other metro cities from people who want to book our rooms for a full fortnight," managing director of Ayodhya's oldest hotel Shan-E-Awadh, Sharad Kapoor said.
"We are ready to welcome the devotees, but I am keeping at least 40 per cent of the rooms in the hotel reserved as the senior police and administration officials prefer to stay at my hotel because we have been cooperating with them since the beginning of the Ram Janambhoomi movement," Kapoor said, adding that he anticipates a huge influx of dignitaries along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
What resort owner said?
Talking to media, Sangram Singh, a resort owner said, "We had a query from a Bombay-based travel agency for 1,500 rooms for a week, but the problem is that the exact date of ceremony is not clear."
DC Dayal on Wednesday (July 19) also distributed registration certificates to 41 building owners under the paying guest scheme. Addressing all the building owners, he said in the coming days, along with the consecration of the grand Shri Ram temple, the number of devotees coming to Ayodhya will increase by lakhs, out of which a large number of devotees will also stay overnight.
Hotel, guest house and homestay will be required for their stay, the Commissioner said, adding that these homestays will not only give the devotees a home-like experience but also generate additional income and employment opportunities for the locals in the district.
There are around 150 hotels in Faizabad and Ayodhya, including 10 luxurious hotels, 25 budget hotels, 115 economy hotels, 35 unrecognised guest houses, 50 dharamshalas, 50 homestay/paying guest houses, accounting for a total of 10,000 rooms in the districts. Additionally, there are four government guest houses having around 35 rooms. About 50 small guest houses currently under construction are expected to be ready by November.
Ram Mandir construction update:
The construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya is going on in full swing with the temple likely to open for devotees on January 24 next year after the consecration of the Ram Lalla idol which will be a 10-day ritual, chairman of temple construction committee Nripendra Mishra had said last month.
The ground floor work of the three-storey Ram temple has been completed, Mishra had said, adding that the temple Trust has decided to start the process of the consecration of Ram Lalla on the occasion of Makar Sankranti on January 14.
"Between January 14 and January 24, a 10-day ritual of Ram Lalla's 'pran pratishtha' (consecration) will be observed," Mishra told reporters. The idol of Ram Lalla may be consecrated on January 22 as according to astrologers consulted by the temple trust, it is the best date, the sources had said.
Authorities of the Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust will invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the consecration ceremony during which the idol of Ram Lalla will be installed in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. Trust general secretary Champat Rai had said a request letter signed by Trust president Mahant Nritya Gopal Das will be sent to the prime minister.
"As no date has been fixed for the consecration of the idol, the PM will be asked to give his permission regarding any favourable date between December 2023 and January 26, 2024," Rai had told reporters last month.
(With agencies inputs)