AYOTHIA, India (AP) — About 80 chartered planes have landed at the new international airport in India's holy city of Ayodhya. Partial opening on Monday Controversial Big temple Rama is one of the most revered gods of Hinduism.
Ayodhya's airport cannot accommodate the arrival of private planes. Airport manager Saurabh Singh said, “The flights take off after dropping off the guests.
The temple is built on top of an ancient demolished mosque Most political opposition leaders They are ignoring the opening of the temple saying it is not suitable for secular India.
However, the list of attendees includes some of India's most influential figures: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, businessmen Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani, and Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan.
Modi's Hindu Nationalist Party is using it ahead of the upcoming general elections Elaborate consecration ceremony To persuade the Hindu majority of the country.
The legend of Rama, the prince of Ayodhya
The temple is the holy abode of Lord Rama, one of the Hindu Gods who Hindus believe was born at the exact spot in Ayodhya.
Millions of Hindus worship Lord Rama in the fervent belief that chanting his name in times of adversity brings peace and prosperity, and most Hindus keep idols of Rama in their homes. Major Hindu festivals such as Dussehra and Diwali are associated with mythological stories of Lord Rama extolling the virtues of truth, sacrifice and ethical governance.
The mythological Hindu epic “Ramayana,” which tells the story of Rama's journey from prince to king, is often adapted in popular culture. The TV serial “Ramayana” created in the 1980s is one of the most watched mythological shows with a loyal audience.
The divinity of Rama is not only a dominant religious force in India, but also forms part of ancient cultural heritage in countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar and Malaysia.
A temple rises
Spread over an area of nearly 3 hectares, the temple – still under construction – cost $217 million. It is made of pink sandstone, decorated with intricate carvings, and has 46 doors – 42 of which are gold plated.
Anil Mishra, a member of the foundation overseeing the construction, said the temple blends traditional design with cutting-edge technology and has been “designed without the use of iron, steel or cement”.
A 1.3-metre (4.25-feet) black stone sculpture of Lord Rama was installed in the temple's inner sanctum for the Kumbabhishekam on Monday. A religious ceremony called “Pran Pratishtai” which signifies giving life to the idol will be conducted according to Hindu Vedic Shastras. Then the deity can receive the devotees and bless them.
After the ceremony, the temple will be opened to the public and 100,000 devotees will visit it daily, officials said.
Ayodhya, Past and Present
city Known for its narrow lanes lined with Hindu pilgrims and shops selling small Rama idols, it has been given a facelift with modern infrastructure and services. Ayodhya's modest airstrip has grown into a comprehensive international airport with a 2.2 kilometer (about 1.4 mi) runway in the first phase. The clean railway station has a capacity of around 50,000 passengers daily.
“The historical and spiritual significance of Ayodhya makes it a compelling destination,” and a big surge in demand is expected, said Ravi Singh, representative of Indian Hotels Company Ltd.
Ayodhya has been at the center of India's turbulent politics and the Hindu majority's decades-long quest to reclaim the country's religious past. After mobs demolished the 16th-century Babri Masjid in 1992, its diverse, multicultural past was overshadowed by fierce Hindu nationalism.
Hindus He won a protracted legal battle in 2019allowing them Build a temple. Hindus make up about 80% of India's population, but the country also has about 200 million Muslims, who are often under attack by Hindu nationalists.
Modi was the face of India's unprecedented, unapologetic fusion of religion and politics. Temple Foundation Ceremony In 2020.
Critics say the idea of a separate, constitutionally secular state that guides Hindu religious rituals is deplorable. Most opposition leaders have rejected the invitation, saying Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is using the event for political propaganda by promising to build a Ram temple as part of its election strategy.
Modi asked that Kumbabhishekam should be celebrated openly in public houses and temples by lighting lamps. The message is clear: mobilizing Hindu voters will be a key issue in the upcoming national elections as Modi seeks to extend his rule for a third consecutive term.
Deepak reported from New Delhi.