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Ram Mandir: Demand for Saffron flags with images of Lord Ram, Ayodhya temple surges ahead of consecration

Religious fervour has spread in the holy city of Ayodhya where Ram Mandir will be inaugurated on January 22. Ahead of the consecration ceremony, locals have said that the demand for saffron flags and related materials has gone up in the recent days.

Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 Ayodhya Published on: January 12, 2024 12:33 IST
Ram Mandir, Ram Mandir Ayodhya, Ram temple, Ram temple Ayodhya
Image Source : PTI PM Narendra Modi in Ayodhya

Ram Mandir consecration: In the run-up to the Ram Mandir inauguration in Ayodhya, demand for saffron flags, with the images of Lord Ram, Hanuman and the upcoming grand temple, has risen multiple folds. Devotees who are visiting Ayodhya for an early ‘darshan’ of Ram Lalla are purchasing these flags, besides other merchandise bearing the name and images of Lord Ram. The holy city will virtually be fortified on the day of ‘Pran Pratishtha’ on January 22.

Ayodhya is in the grip of religious fervour with less than two weeks to go for the historic event, or as the locals say, “Ayodhya Rammayi ho rahi hai".

Saffron flags bearing images of Lord Ram and the upcoming Ram temple, 'Jai Shri Ram' slogan, and an image of Lord Hanuman -- often seen on the rear windshield of cars -- are in big demand, according to local shopkeepers.

What did the locals say?

Several locals said that the demand for saffron flags has seen a spike since the 2019 Supreme Court verdict on the Ram Mandir issue.

"However, in the last few weeks, and particularly due to the 'Pran Pratishtha' coming up at the new Ram temple, there has been a fresh surge in the demand," said Pradip Gupta, who runs a restaurant along Ram Path, a significant thoroughfare in the heart of Ayodhya.

"Saffron flags carrying images of Lord Ram and the upcoming Ram temple are particularly a big hit among the devotees," he added.

Earlier, people did not hoist such flags on the rooftops of their houses very often, but now they do so, particularly households, he said.

Settling a fractious issue that goes back more than a century, the apex court in a historic verdict backed the construction of a Ram temple by a trust at the disputed site in Ayodhya and ruled that an alternative five-acre plot must be found for a mosque in the Hindu holy town.

Locals' business grows

Walking down Ram Path -- the 13-km redeveloped stretch from Sahadatganj in Faizabad city and Lata Mangeshkar Chowk -- one can see stocks of these high-in-demand flags displayed next to various shops and on the newly-built pedestrian walkways located on both sides of the road.

The flags come in various sizes and range from Rs 50 to Rs 1,000.

On Thursday, several women, donning yellow clothes and carrying saffron flags, took part in a ‘shobha yatra’.

Mukesh Kumar, a shopkeeper, who sells religious items, including saffron flags, said, "Our business has gone up ahead of the 'Pran Pratishtha'".

"The quantum of sales has increased as 'yagyas' are being performed at many places in Ayodhya, and there is also demand from other places. These flags are also used during 'kathas' and 'bhagwats'.

"We sell at wholesale rates and are earning around Rs 10,000-12,000 per day," he added.

Ahead of PM Modi’s visit to Ayodhya on December 30 last year, a large number of houses were seen with saffron flags on their rooftops and balconies.

Ram temple's wooden replicas, metallic rings, lockets and other cloth items bearing Lord Ram's name and images are also flying off the shelves in Ayodhya, according to the shopkeepers.

(With PTI inputs)

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