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Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi requested not to attend consecration: Ram temple trust

Ayodhya: BJP veterans L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi who were at the forefront of the agitation for the Ram temple in Ayodhya are unlikely to attend next month’s consecration ceremony due to their health and age, the temple trust said here on Monday.

“Both are elders of the family and considering their age, they were requested not to come, which was accepted by both,” Ram Temple Trust general secretary Champat Rai told reporters.

Rai said preparations are in full swing for the consecration ceremony on January 22, which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The preparations would be completed by January 15 and the puja for ‘praan pratistha’ will start from January 16 and will continue till 22nd January, he added.

Giving a detailed list of the invitees, Rai said Advani and Joshi might not attend the consecration ceremony due to health and age-related reasons.

Advani is now 96 and Joshi will turn 90 next month.

“Shankaracharyas of six darshanas (ancient schools) and around 150 saints and sages and will participate in the ceremony,” Rai said.

He added that about 4,000 saints and 2,200 other guests have been invited for the ceremony.

Heads of major temples like Kashi Vishwanath, Vaishno Devi, and representatives of religious and constitutional institutions have also been invited, he said.

Spiritual leader Dalai Lama, Mata Amritanandamayi of Kerala, yoga guru Baba Ramdev, cine stars Rajnikanth, Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit, Arun Govil, film director Madhur Bhandarkar and prominent industrialists such as Mukesh Ambani, Anil Ambani, famous painter Vasudev Kamat, ISRO Director Nilesh Desai and many other eminent personalities have been invited to the function, Rai said.

After the consecration ceremony, ‘mandal puja’ will be held from January 24 for 48 days as per ritual traditions. The temple will be opened for devotees on January 23, he added.

Rai said that proper arrangements have been made for the guests to stay at more than three places in Ayodhya. Apart from this, 600 rooms have been made available by various monasteries, temples and household families.

Meanwhile, authorities of the Ayodhya Municipal Corporation said they have begun preparing for the consecration ceremony.

Speaking to PTI, Municipal Commissioner Vishal Singh said that fibre toilets will be installed for devotees and changing rooms will be set up for women at designated places.

The ‘Ram Katha Kunj’ corridor will be built in the Ram Janmabhoomi complex which would showcase tableaux displaying 108 events from Lord Ram’s life, he said.

(Published 18 December 2023, 16:49 IST)

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