Prime Minister Narendra Modi today participated in a "Bhoomi Pujan" or a groundbreaking ceremony that marks the building of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. Before laying the foundation stone of the temple, PM Modi planted a Parijat sapling in the temple premises. Also known as the Indian night jasmine, Parijat or Parijaat is considered to be a divine tree in Hindu mythology. Its flowers are offered to deities.
A video shared by news agency ANI shows PM Modi planting the Parijat sapling at the temple premises in the riverside town of Uttar Pradesh. He was accompanied by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Ayodhya by chopper this morning, dressed in a silk kurta and dhoti. He offered prayers at the Hanumangarhi temple after arriving at Ayodhya for his first visit in 29 years. In 1992, he had taken a vow that he would return to the holy city in Uttar Pradesh only when a Ram mandir was built.
From the Hanuman temple, he travelled to the "Ram Janmabhoomi" or the birthplace of Lord Ram for prayers ahead of the "Bhoomi Pujan". He participated in religious rituals before laying a 40-kg silver brick to symbolize the construction of the temple.
Slogans of "Bharat Mata ki Jai'' and 'Har Har Mahadev'' went up as the ritual ended and the Prime Minister laid the foundation of the temple.
The Ram Temple is central to the ruling BJP's ideology and core election promises.