Ayodhya all set for Ram temple consecration at 12.20 pm; multi-layer security cover in place

Decoration at the ceremonial gateway leading to the newly-built Ram Temple on the eve of its 'Pran Pratishtha' ceremony, in Ayodhya. Photo: PTI

Ayodhya: The much-awaited consecration event at Ram temple will be held here on Monday in a grand ceremony with Prime Minister Narendra Modi attending the rituals. The shrine will be opened to the public a day later.

The "Pran Pratishtha" ceremony will begin at 12.20 pm and is expected to end by 1 pm. The prime minister will then address a gathering of more than 7,000 people, including seers and prominent personalities, at the venue.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the consecration ceremony of Ram Lalla in the newly-built Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Mandir in Ayodhya around noon on Monday and will address a gathering present for the occasion, his office said.

 A multi-layer security cover is in place in Ayodhya for the consecration ceremony at the Ram temple, with 10,000 CCTV cameras and drones equipped with artificial intelligence keeping an eye on the movement of people and police personnel in plain clothes deployed at the venue.

Security personnel stand guard at the entry point for Ram Mandir, ahead of its consecration ceremony, in Ayodhya. Photo: PTI

From Dharam Path and Ram Path here, which are witnessing a huge influx of devotees, to bylanes of the Hanumangarhi area and Asharfi Bhavan road, policemen can be seen patrolling the streets. Uttar Pradesh Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) personnel had also conducted patrolling in Ayodhya on Saturday.

"Ayodhya is now under the watchful eye of drones equipped with artificial intelligence, alongside the utilisation of anti-mine drones, as part of the concerted efforts to enhance security in the temple town," a senior police official said.

AI cameras, anti-mine drones for surveillance
While AI-supported drones are conducting aerial surveillance across Ayodhya, anti-mine drones are simultaneously inspecting the ground for mines or explosives, he said.

Operating at a height of one metre above the ground, the anti-mine drones are equipped with advanced technology like spectrometer wavelength detection for detecting underground explosives, the official said.

Movable barriers with barbed wires attached to them can be spotted almost at every prominent crossing in the city, as policemen use them to regulate traffic especially during VVIP movements.

Police check vehicles to Ayodhya. Photo: PTI

"The 'pran pratishtha' ceremony, which will be held on Monday, is going to be a historic event. For this, the Uttar Pradesh Police has made elaborate security arrangements and along with it, security has been ensured for every road along the entire red zone, yellow zone and Ayodhya district," Director General (DG), Law and Order, Prashant Kumar had recently said.

To ensure better security arrangements at the programme venue in Ayodhya, technology is being used on a large scale.

"For this, 10,000 CCTV cameras have been installed in the entire Ayodhya district. In some of these CCTV cameras, we are using AI-based technology so that we can maintain a strict vigil on commuters," the DG said.

Police personnel with multi-lingual skills will be deployed in plain clothes at the programme venue.

The senior police official also said the security along the Saryu river has also been increased with the help of NDRF and SDRF teams.

"We are coordinating with other agencies. Checking is going on at the international and inter-state borders. Police will use drones for crowd control and for diversion of excess crowd," he had said.

Over 7000 invitees including celebrities
While more than 7,000 people are on the list of invitees, the select list features 506 A-listers. Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, business tycoons Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani, and sporting icon Sachin Tendulkar are among the prominent people invited to the event.

The Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Mandir is constructed in traditional Nagara style 380 feet in length (east-west), 250 feet wide and 161 feet tall. Photo: PTI

Those attending the "Pran Prathishtha" also include people linked to the Ram Janmabhoomi agitation. Almost all opposition leaders invited to the ceremony have declined to be in attendance, with the Congress calling it a "BJP-RSS event". But there are others, not on the list, who are heading to Ayodhya in their unique ways -- walking, cycling and even skating -- covering long distances amid bone-chilling cold.

Gifts from various places
From Lord Ram image-adorned bangles to 56 varieties of "petha" and from traditional items like a 500-kg iron-copper "nagada" and the "Onavillu" bow to offerings of rice, ladoos and vegetables, a diverse array of gifts have arrived from across the country. Also featured in the gifts are special perfumes from Kannauj, 500-kg "kumkum" leaves from Amravati, grains collected at a Ram temple in Delhi, flowers from Bhopal and papers with Lord Ram written 4.31 crore times from Madhya Pradesh's Chhindwara. 

Other offerings include a 108-foot incense stick, a 2,100-kg bell, a giant lamp weighing 1,100 kg, gold footwear, a 10-foot-high lock and key and a clock that simultaneously denotes time in eight countries.

More than 3,000 gifts from Goddess Sita's birthplace in Nepal's Janakpur have also arrived. A Sri Lankan delegation brought a special gift from Ashok Vatika, a garden mentioned in the Ramayana.




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