Ram Lalla’s ‘neighbours’ exult in their new status

The neighbouring temples in the Ram Janmabhoomi complex have been accorded the status of ‘padosi’ (neighbour) of Ram Lalla.

The Mahants of these temples have been invited for the Pran Pratishtha ceremony on January 22 while their disciples would be deputed as volunteers in the ceremony.

As the majority of the land around the temple has been acquired by the Trust, the few temples situated next door have attained special status as padosis of Ram Lalla.

The Amawa Ram temple, known for round the year open kitchen service, is the new selfie spot for the visitors looking to click themselves with Ram temple in the background.

The increased interest in religious tourism is evident as one steps inside Amawa Ram temple, established in 1919, which remains crowded through the day. It has been serving free food to the visitors for the past four years (since the court case was decided in favour of Ram Lalla.

“It is the only accessible place where one can click a selfie with Ram temple in the background,” said a devotee.

Since carrying mobile phones or electronic items is not allowed inside the makeshift temple, devotees climb up on the first floor of the Amawa temple to take photographs of the under-construction Ram temple complex.

The Rang Mahal temple has planned 41-day-long celebrations. “Our social status has been elevated. Our property is the first one and we share our boundary wall with Ram Lalla’s temple. We launched a 41-day-long kirtan on Tuesday and will hold bhandara (community kitchen service) till February 28. Our followers from all over the country are keen to visit Ayodhya from January 23 and we are making arrangements to host them in batches at present,” said Ram Sharan Das, mahant of the historical Rang Mahal that is dedicated to Sita.

In-charge of Ram Rasoi, Chandra Mohan, who is from Tirupati, said, “The count of Ram bhakts who come to our community kitchen has been going up steadily over the past five-six months. We operate an open kitchen from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on a daily basis and have been serving food to about 4,000 devotees every day. We are contemplating serving food in two shifts post the Pran Pratishtha ceremony.”

While Rang Mahal and Amawa are situated just opposite the Ram temple, Sri Aurobindo Ashram is situated on the other end, next to the existing makeshift temple site.

Dharmendra Singh, who manages the property said, “From Tuesday, we have started organising havan twice a day and will distribute prasad among the devotees. We are extremely attached to Ram Lalla as we have been staying next to him for decades.”

The mahants and chiefs of all the three establishments have been invited to the ceremony by the trust.

The trust has also promised to facilitate darshan for followers of the padosis January 27 onwards.

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