Modi to carry Ram idol to new temple: Sources

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi may shun protocol and walk a distance of more than 500 metres on foot during the Ram Temple consecration ceremony in Ayodhya on January 22, 2024, according to sources.

The temple trust is set to offer the prestigious role of carrying the existing movable idol of Lord Ram from the makeshift temple site to the sanctum sanctorum of the newly constructed Ram Temple to the Prime Minister during the ceremony.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is likely to accompany him. RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat would be among dignitaries present on the occasion.

According to trust sources, the main puja will be presided over by Modi as ‘yajman’ (host organising the Hindu religious ceremony) when ‘pran pratistha’ (religious proceedings to conducted before the idol opens eyes for the first time) takes place.

Leading priests from various parts of the country will participate in the consecration ceremony.

While ‘chal murti’ that is being worshipped at the existing makeshift temple will be placed at a sacred spot after prayers, one of the three five-foot idols being sculpted at the moment, would be placed as the resident deity (achal murti) in the sanctum sanctorum.

The ‘chal murti’ will keep making a comeback alongside the achal (permanent one) on auspicious occasions through the year.

The trust is yet to finalise which idol among the three is going to be placed in the sanctum sanctorum on the ground floor as the main deity.

The sources said one among the two idols which have been carved out of the finest quality marble from Rajasthan or dark colour granite from Karnataka was going to be placed in the garbha-griha.

“But the official announcement is going to be made later,” said a source.

The second one will be placed on the first floor once it is ready while on the second floor of the temple, a Ram Darbar would be set up.

The trust has planned an elaborate consecration ceremony which will commence the day after Makar Sankranti next year.

The new idol would be given a bath with the water from Saryu and other holy rivers, and taken out symbolically within the Ayodhya city.

The trust is going to send out invites to about 8,000 individuals across the country out of which 3,500 would be sent to saints and seers of various temples, mutts and members of various religious bodies and outfits while the remaining ones will be sent to political and other dignitaries, top industrialists, businessmen, professionals (leading doctors, advocates, engineers, actors among others) and Padma awardees.

Heads of some states and countries will be also invited for the main event scheduled for January 22 of next year.