Celebrations will light up every home and temple on the nights of August 4 and 5, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath promised on Saturday, as he visited Ayodhya, 10 days before the scheduled grand groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Ram Temple.
The Chief Minister began his Ayodhya tour with a trip to the Ram Janmabhoomi complex that will be the venue of the August 5 ceremony that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also scheduled to attend. He was seen offering prayers to Lord Ram at the site.
Later, Yogi Adityanath met with officials and religious leaders over preparations for ceremony.
"There will be 'deepotsava' in all houses and temples on the nights of 4th and 5th August," he said at the meeting attended by the Ayodhya MP, MLAs, members of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust and local administration.
"Ram Chandra Paramhans's (the late head of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas) soul must feel content that his dreams are being fullfilled. This is a big landmark for all saints who have given their life for the temple," Adityanath said.
The groundbreaking ceremony or "*bhoomi poojan*" will be held inside the Ram Janmabhoomi complex and a total of 150 to 200 people are likely to attend, with social distancing norms in the times of the coronavirus pandemic.
The firm in charge of the temple design has said the height of the temple is being increased by at least 20 feet - to make it 161-foot tall - as compared to the original design which was prepared in 1988 and mentioned its height as 141 feet.
Two mandaps or pavilions have also been added to the design, the temple architect said.
After the groundbreaking ceremony, it is expected that construction of the temple will take at least three years.
Three-day long Vedic rituals will be held ahead of the grand August 5 ceremony, which will revolve around the installation of a 40 kg silver brick as the foundation stone by the Prime Minister.
The rituals will begin on August 3, news agency PTI reported.
Giant CCTV screens will be put up across Ayodhya so the devotees can watch the programme, said the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra, which has been tasked with the temple.