Ahead of the grand consecration ceremony at Ayodhya’s Ram Temple on January 22, the passengers boarding the first flight to the newly built Maharishi Valmiki International Airport in Ayodhya Dham on Saturday (December 30) were heard chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
‘Jai Ram, Shri Ram’ rent the air in the terminal building at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi as the first group of passengers boarded the inaugural flight to Ayodhya.
Passengers from across the country will reach Ayodhya by flight on Saturday.
“We are very excited about visiting Ayodhya and brought our children along. We are going to see Ram Lalla in Ayodhya; seek his blessings,” a passenger from Rajasthan who boarded the inaugural flight to Ayodhya told ANI.
Another passenger from Karnataka thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the opportunity to be onboard the first flight to the temple town.
Jain Peethadhish Ravindra Kirti Swami, who is among the large group of the Jain community travelling on the first flight, called it a historic day.
“This is a historic day. An aerodrome has now been opened at Ram-ji’s birthplace. We are a large group from the Jain community going on the inaugural flight to meet Ram Lalla. We are thankful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for this opportunity,” the Jain Peethadhish said.
Another passenger from the Jain community said it would be a dream coming true.
“The grand Ram Temple is nearing completion. It had been a dream for long. Now, it’s close to becoming a reality. We are going to get Ram Lalla’s blessings,” she added.
The pilot on command of the inaugural IndiGo flight, Captain Ashutosh Shekhar, welcomed all passengers on board, calling it a proud moment.
“We are grateful and blessed for the opportunity given by IndiGo to command the inaugural flight to Ayodhya. This is a proud moment for us and Indigo. We hope your journey with us is safe and pleasant,” Shekhar said.
#WATCH | IndiGo pilot captain Ashutosh Shekhar welcomes passengers as the first flight takes off from Delhi for the newly constructed Maharishi Valmiki International Airport, Ayodhya Dham, in Ayodhya, UP. pic.twitter.com/rWkLSUcPVF
— ANI (@ANI) December 30, 2023
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Maharishi Valmiki International Airport in the temple city.
PM Modi received a grand welcome after he landed in the city, with a large number of supporters chanting his name as his motorcade passed and showered him with petals.
The Airports Authority of India undertook the development of Ayodhya Airport as per the MoU signed with the Government of Uttar Pradesh in April last year.
The state-of-the-art airport has been developed at a cost of more than Rs 1450 crore.
The airport’s terminal building has an area of 6500 sqm, equipped to serve about 10 lakh passengers annually.
The facade of the terminal building depicts the temple architecture of the upcoming Shri Ram Mandir of Ayodhya. The interiors of the terminal building are decorated with local art, paintings and murals depicting the life of Bhagwan Shri Ram.
The airport will improve connectivity in the region, leading to a boost in tourism and business activities while generating new employment opportunities.
(With inputs from ANI)