The idol of Ram Lalla was shifted to a makeshift temple at Manas Bhawan in Ayodhya at 4 am on Wednesday on the first day of Navratri. The deity has been seated on a silver throne, weighing about 9.5 kg. The throne has been gifted by the Raja Ayodhya Vimlendra Mohan Mishra, who is also a member of the Shri Ram Teerth Kshetra Trust. The intricately carved throne has been made by artisans from Jaipur.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who reached Ayodhya on Tuesday night, was present at the rituals held for the shifting of the deity and participated in the puja.
The makeshift temple structure, built over 432 square feet, is made of fibre and is bullet proof.
The new temple, which is bound to attract thousands of devotees as soon as the lockdown is lifted, has separate entry and exit points that will make darshan (prayers) more convenient.
The head priest of the Ram Lalla temple, Acharya Satyendra Das, said that after a gap of 28 years, the deity would finally have a roof over his head.
The shifting of the deity has taken place to enable construction of the grand Ram temple at the site. The rituals related to shifting that began on Monday were held amid tight security with limited presence of priests and trust members.
Security personnel had been deployed to prevent locals and devotees from collecting at the site.
The prominent temples in Ayodhya, including the Hanuman Garhi, have been shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic, though their priests will continue to perform puja during the Navratri period.
Devotees will be allowed to offer prayers at the new temple today, but in small numbers.