In anticipation of the historic inauguration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya on January 22, 2024, the organisers have put stringent security measures in place, including restrictions on items traditionally carried by sadhus. The esteemed sadhus invited to attend the ceremonies have been requested not to bring their dandi (stick), chhatra (umbrella), and paduka (wooden footwear) due to security concerns.
The highly anticipated event is set to witness the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is expected to participate in the consecration ceremony, the ceremony that symbolises bringing life to the idol. A series of rituals will precede the grand opening of the newly constructed shrine, with programs commencing on January 16. Around 7,000 guests from all corners of the country, including 4,000 sadhus and saints, have received invitations for this auspicious occasion.
Champat Rai, the General Secretary of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, formed by the central government for overseeing the Mandir’s construction, emphasised the need for heightened security during the ceremonies. He said that the prohibition on items like dandi, chhatra, and paduka was a precautionary measure, and guests had been advised not to carry anything that could pose a security risk. The security arrangements will be supervised by the Special Protection Group.
Rai further mentioned that representatives from major Mandir across India would be in attendance, emphasising the significance of the event on a national scale. However, the trust’s decision to prohibit traditional items has not yet been met with any protests from the invited sadhus, some of whom have, in the past, objected to restrictions on their customary belongings.
In addition to the security measures, the Ram Janmabhoomi trust has also issued guidelines for the health and well-being of the attendees. Guests with illnesses have been advised to reconsider their attendance, as they might need to walk for one or two kilometres from their accommodations to the venue. Moreover, during the pran pratishtha ceremony on January 22, attendees may be required to sit for three to four hours. The trust is ensuring that necessary arrangements are in place to accommodate the physical well-being of the participants.
Anil Kumar Mishra, a trust member, shared details about the provisions made for the convenience of the guests. Refreshments will be available at 15 designated locations in Ayodhya to ensure the comfort of the attendees. This thoughtful initiative aligns with the trust’s commitment to making the grand inauguration a memorable and pleasant experience for all those participating in this historic event.
As the nation eagerly awaits the inauguration of the Ram Mandir, these meticulous arrangements and precautions signify the significance attached to the event and the commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of all participants. The ceremonies, steeped in tradition and spirituality, are expected to draw not only local devotees but also attention from across the country, marking a momentous chapter in India’s cultural and religious history.