The famous Hanuman Garhi temple in Ayodhya is decked up for the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the bhoomi pujan of Ram Temple on Wednesday. As soon as PM Modi reaches Ayodhya, he will first go to this temple as it is believed that before visiting Lord Ram one should pay respect to Lord Hanuman. The priests of the temple are disheartened that they will not be able to meet PM Modi due to the protocols in place for coronavirus.
"At the temple, all of us had made a lot of preparations to present a 'gada' (mace), mukut (crown), silver brick, stole and a turban to the Prime Minister. But, this will not be possible now due to COVID-19 rules. Our plan to give him the gifts is now cancelled," Mahant Raju Das of Hanuman Garhi temple told news agency PTI.
"The Chief Minister visited the temple on Monday. Now the Prime Minister will pray on Wednesday but all the priests will remain at a distance and no one will be allowed near him. PM Modi is likely to stay here for 5-7 minutes," Mahant Raju Das said.
Preparations are almost complete for the bhoomi pujan. It will be a historic day for Ayodhya, the priest said. On the significance of visiting the Hanuman temple first, the Mahant said, according to legend it is believed that no work is complete without the blessings of Lord Hanuman.
Seventy-six steps lead to Hanuman Garhi, which is one of the most popular Hanuman temples in north India. The shrine houses Hanuman's mother, Anjani, with a young Hanuman on her lap. "When Lord Ram returned to Ayodhya after conquering Ravana, he gave this place to Hanuman ji to live, so its called Hanuman Garhi or Hanuman Kot. From here, it is believed that Lord Hanuman used to protect Ramkot", the Mahant said.
The construction of the Ram temple will start a new era for Ayodhya, which has witnessed many "tense moments" in the past, according to the priest. "Not only us, all Ram bhakts are happy with the new beginning. It is not just due to religious reasons, but the people here are happy because their city will now have more opportunities and development," the Mahant said. The Vedic rituals started in the temple on Monday and will continue till the bhoomi pujan. After that the construction of Ram temple will start with full speed.