Amid COVID-19 pandemic, Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya sees low key Ram Navami celebrations

Amid COVID-19 pandemic, Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya sees low key Ram Navami celebrations

Srawan ShuklaUpdated: Wednesday, April 21, 2021, 03:27 PM IST
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A wall of bricks bearing 'Shri Ram' chants seen at the Ram Janmabhomi Nyas-run workshop at Karsevakpuram in Ayodhya | Photo: PTI

Lucknow: For the first time in the history of the ancient city of Ayodhya, all temples including the make-shift Ram Lala temple are shut for Ram Bhakts, that too on Ram Navami, the day Lord Rama was born.

All borders leading to the temple town were sealed since Tuesday night and no devotees are allowed to enter Ayodhya to celebrate Ram Navami. Many Ram Bhakts who were unaware of the ban were sent back when they failed to show RT PCR report, no older than 48 hours.

Celebrations are on but on low key at make-shift temple. Amid chanting of vedic mantras, Lord Ram Lala adorned a special dress sent by the Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya. Lord Ram and his brothers were offered brand new Golden crown, gifted by the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust on the occasion of Ram Navami.

The deity was offered 56 types of ‘Bhog’ of special sweets and food as per Hindu tradition. All rituals and chanting of mantras were performed by the Chief Priest Mahant Satyendra Das in the presence of Trust office-bearers while the make-shift temple doors were shut for Ram Bhakts.

Chief Priest and Trust members offered prayers to Lord Ram Lala and sought his blessings for the people of the country to come out of the second wave of coronavirus wreaking havoc across the nation.

Several lakh Ram Bhakts used to throng Ayodhya, the birth place of Lord Ram to offer prayers and participate in Ram Navami mela. Like last year during pandemic, the mela and celebrations are banned this year too.

Residents of the temple town are missing the usual bugle of bells and blowing of conch shells amid chanting of mantras since wee hours on Ram Navami. Except for locals, Ram Bhakts from all over the country are nowhere to be seen on the day.

For the second year in a row, Ram Navami celebrations were restricted to home. Instead of visiting temples, people are offering prayers at home as appealed by the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Ram temple Trust office-bearers.

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