A group of friends from Maharashtra, a trio from Kolkata, and a saintly couple from Odisha, accompanied by their three-month-old langur named ‘Bajrang Bali,’ made their inaugural visit to Ayodhya on Tuesday. Their shared objective was to have the first-day ‘darshan’ (sight) of Ram Lalla at the newly inaugurated Ram temple.
The gates of the expansive temple were opened to the public in the morning, following the consecration ceremony held the previous day. Among the visitors were Palash Thange and Mayur Bhor, who, sporting special shirts adorned with images of the Ram temple and ‘Jai Shri Ram,’ came all the way from Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. Despite the large crowd, they expressed their dream of witnessing the Ram temple and were captivated by the city’s decorations, expressing a desire to extend their stay.
As the devotees flooded the streets of Ayodhya, particularly along the main thoroughfare, Ram Path, the atmosphere was filled with religious fervor. Devotees, many arriving directly from train stations or bus depots, were eager to have a ‘darshan’ of Ram Lalla.
The temple complex opened its doors to devotees at 6 am, and by 2 pm, an estimated 2.5 lakh people had visited, as reported by Ayodhya Divisional Commissioner Gaurav Dayal. The massive crowd led to some moments of unease for security personnel, but the situation was eventually brought under control.
Suresh Kumar and his friend from Chhattisgarh, first-time visitors, narrated their journey from Durg, expressing their eagerness for a brief visit solely for the ‘darshan.’
The streets resonated with ‘Ram dhun’ and popular songs as security personnel managed the crowd, with devotees chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram.’ A notable visitor was Chatur Sagar, a 70-year-old sadhu from Odisha, accompanied by his wife and a three-month-old langur named ‘Bajrangbali.’ The couple expressed their reverence for Ayodhya as Prabhu Shri Ram’s ‘nagari’ (town).
Ayodhya’s streets resembled a festive fair with ‘bhandaras’ serving meals and the sale of Maharashtrian ‘faita’ (headgear) for Rs 100 each. Saffron, a dominant color associated with devotion, was prevalent on Ram Path, with locals and visitors donning clothes and accessories in the sacred hue.
A trio of office colleagues from Kolkata, donned in matching saffron ‘kurta’ and religious ‘patka,’ traveled to Ayodhya to witness the historic opening of the temple. They expressed their joy at being part of this significant event and proudly displayed saffron flags bearing images of Lord Ram and the temple.
The new idol of Ram Lalla was consecrated at the Ayodhya temple on Monday, marking a historic moment led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.