Ram Lalla’s reclamation of Janmbhoomi in Ayodhya was a moment of joy and cheer for the people across the country and the globe. Most people were emotional as Bhagwan Ram finally returned to his Mandir after a long wait of 500 years. On this auspicious occasion, a global celebration was seen across the world by Hindus and Bharatiya diaspora.
Explaining the historical relevance of Pran Pratishtha and devotees flocking to the ancient city to pay obeisance to Bhagwan Shri Ram for the diaspora, Dr Jai Bansal, a resident of New Jersey, the US, who is Vice-President of Education for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA), said, “In a remarkable community outreach effort, the Vishva Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA) successfully connected with the Hindu community in the United States, orchestrating a series of impactful events for the celebration of the Shri Ram Lalla’s Pran Pratishta ceremony on January 22, 2024. This monumental occasion has not only reignited cultural pride but has also strengthened the diaspora’s connection to their roots.”
Pointing out that unity and harmony were demonstrated through numerous car rallies organised by Hindu organisations across the US, Dr Jai Bansal said thousands of vehicles participated in rallies from Boston to the Bay Area, showcasing the deep civilisational connection shared with the revitalisation of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. “Iconic cities such as Washington DC, Chicago, Houston and San Francisco witnessed the enthusiasm of participants, with Tesla car light shows and billboard displays in Times Square adding a touch of glamour to the mega event. Over 800 Mandirs registered with VHPA on rammandir2024.org to virtually participate in the consecration ceremonies on the morning of January 22, 2024, emphasising the deep spiritual connection that Hindu communities across the United States feel with the sacred event in Ayodhya. On the evening of January 21, approximately 4 million viewers in the United States tuned in to the live broadcast of the Pran Pratishtha ceremony in Ayodhya. The inspiring message delivered by Indian Prime Minister Modi struck a chord with the audience, emphasising the profound significance of the occasion. Capitalising on this momentum, VHPA is actively engaged in several groundbreaking projects aimed at bolstering the unity of Hindu American society,” added Dr Jai Bansal.
Vishva Hindu Parishad Association Thailand, with Hindu Samaj Dev Mandir Thailand, joyously celebrated the “Ram Phir Laute” event at the Hindu Samaj Dev Mandir on January 22, 2024.
Ayutthaya celebrates Ayodhya
According to Susheel Kumar Saraff of Thailand, “The chief guests at the event were Ambassador of Bharat Shri Nagesh Singh and spouse Pragya Singh, who honoured the welcome of Shri Ramji. The historic celebration also saw the participation of the Phra Maha Rajaguru, Director and a big team from the Department of Religious Affairs. Delegations from other Hindu and Sikh and community organisations and associations were present. The presence of these delegates further strengthened the cultural and spiritual ties between the Vishva Hindu Parishad Association, Hindu Samaj Dev Mandir Thailand and the local Thai community.”
The Mandir’s doors were adorned with Rangoli by the VHP Durga Vahini team and the entire Mandir was beautifully illuminated with 501 diyas. The festive atmosphere was enhanced by singing bhajans, pravachans, dancing and the palpable presence of Bhagwan Ram, Sita and Ram Lalla. Shri Ved Vihari Ji and Pandit Shri Lalit Mohan Ji shared the story of Bhagwan Ram, unravelling the timeless teachings that continue to inspire and guide the community.
Adding a melodious touch, Shri Yash Ahlawat Ji, bhajan kirtan singer, entranced the devotees in his own inimitable style. Shri Raju B. Manwani, spokesperson of VHP Thailand, conducted the event with the grace deserving of the occasion.
As part of the celebration, Vishwa Hindu Parishad Association of Thailand arranged for prasad and Akshat from Bharat, distributed posters of the Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir to all the devotees. “Over 400 Thai and Indian devotees attended this historic and memorable event,” said Susheel Kumar Saraff.
Grand Celebration at Malay land
According to Shalini Kothari, President, OFBJP women wing, Malaysia, it was a great honour and privilege to celebrate this occasion. “We all are immensely grateful and thankful to Prabhu Shri Ram for blessing us and choosing us to witness this historic moment. On this golden occasion, OFBJP Malaysia organised a celebration of Pran Pratishtha ceremony at Spice Garden restaurant hall in Malaysia on January 22 with 250 devotees. We all together recited chaupai from ‘Bal Kand’ followed by ‘Ram Stuti’ and ‘Ram Amritvani’ followed by Ram bhajans, Hanuman Chalisa, group aarti and kids enactment of Prabhu Ram, Mata Sita, Lakshman and Hanuman. We also did ‘Peele Akashat’ distribution to all devotees and dinner was prasad under patronage of our OFBJP President Pradeep Batra ji and with support of other executive committee members Nabesh Khanna, Muthuvel, Aakash Kothari, Prabhat Kumar, Ramesh ji, Shailesh Rawal, Siju Vijayanji, Assem ji, Shomik ji, Seema Gupta ji and Deepika Agarwal.”
This January 22, the Indian diaspora in Manila, Philippines came together to celebrate the joyous occasion of Pran Pratishthan at Ayodhya’s live streaming in a theatre organised by OFBJP VHP under leadership of Ramesh Krishnamurthy. Unifying energy of 250-plus Ram Bhakts was incredible. This was preceded by a Shobha Yatra on 20th starting at University of Perpetual Help System Delta Las Pinas Manila traversing the city until evening. Unifying energy of over 150 Ram Bhakts was incredible, Students/supporters chanted Hanuman Chalisa in unison as the culminating event of the rally. Simultaneously, celebrations took place in Hindu temples Paco & Pasig,” said Rameash TK, OFBJP Coordinator of Philippines & Founding President of VHP Philippines Chapter.
Parimal Rawal, who lives in Mozambique, said that in the morning, many devotees came together and organised puja in Salamanga’s Ram Mandir. “About 100 devotees of Bharatiya origin went there. By 3 pm, we reached Maputo’s Shiv Mandir and organised Havan Kirtan and organised a small rally. More than 400 devotees were present in Maputo,” added Parimal.
Satish Jala, who lives in Malawi, informed that Hindu Mandirs in Blantyre and Hindu community in Malawi started the celebrations from January 1 onwards. “It started with tree plantations and on January 14 Hindu Mandir officially launched ‘Feed the Poor Programme’ on January 20. A children’s drawing competition was held which was participated by 70 children. Also on January 20, a Rath Yarta took place within the city and it was followed by prasad distribution. It was attended by over 600 community members. On January 22, we had bhajans followed by cultural programmes and it ended with Mahaprasadi which was attended by over 1,000 community members. Our Janmabhoomi Pran Pratishtha function ended with handing over of 13 borewells to 13 villages. On January 28, these borewels will provide safe drinking water to over 1,000 villagers,” added Satish Jala.
Shanti Bhushan Singh, who lives in Nigeria’s Lagos, said, “In Lagos, we organised two major events at Geeta Mandir in Ilupeju, Geeta Ashram in Lekki and organised Ram Ki Jhanki. About 1,800 participated in both events. Counselor General, HOC from Indian High Commission and also industrialists and Samajam heads joined our celebration.”
Shedding light on the event in South Africa, Pradeep Ramlal from Durban, said, “The Hindu community in South Africa rallied around the call to unite and celebrate Pran Pratishtha of Bhagwan Ram after the call was made by Global Hindu Organisation and the Vishva Hindu Parishad. Almost every mandir, prayer group and ashram held prayers in keeping with the general guidelines of lighting diyas, Chanting of Ram mantras, Hanuman Chalisa, reciting from Ramayan, street processions and Satsangs were other events. Almost every Hindu home lit lamps in their homes as part of the celebrations. Social media was abuzz with video clips of “Mera Ram Ayenge” and other inspirational clips on the battle for the return of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya and to restore justice. There was a euphoria that South African Hindus never experienced previously. Large adverts were placed in the media to set the record straight on the historical facts and the eventual triumph 500 years later.”
In the United Kingdom, Ram Mandir’s Pran Pratishtha was celebrated in a desi style, according to Sheila Maharaj, who is an Indo-Caribbean. A collective shiver of anticipation gripped the UK Hindu diaspora in the days leading up to Ram Janmabhoomi Pran Pratishtha ceremony on January 22, 2024.
“British Hindus settled in many major cities of Britain from Scotland to Wales and their local Mandirs became the focus of prayer, contemplation and celebration. From lighting diyas in their homes to car rallies carrying akshata, kalasham and Bhagwan Ram images replete with yellow and orange balloons. This sentiment has been echoed again and again – from the retail workers and homemakers to local politicians and lawyers,” she said.
“This is a monumental event for all of us Hindus,” quoted local British Hindu businessman Deepak Sharma.
Hridesh Gupta, a resident of the UK, mentioned that there are 250 Mandirs in the country. The largest event took place at Slavo Hindu Mandir, where a total of 5,000 devotees, each carrying sweets, attended. The second-largest event occurred in South Hall, London, organised by OFBJP UK UP Chapter, with over 2000 devotees participating. Another significant event took place at Sri Swaminarayan Mandir in Wembley, London. Celebrations were also observed at Sri Sanatan Mandir in Alperton and Brahm Rishi Ashram in Hansalo, London.
In Trinidad and Tobago, Pran Pratishtha was celebrated at several venues such as Charlie Village, Central, Hindu Prachar Kendra, at Raghunan Road, said community leader, Raviji in Trinidad.
“There were celebrations in the south part of the island and at most mandirs throughout the Twin Island state. A long line of cars left the famous Divali Nagar bound fory the sports grounds in Central. It was organised by Amit ji, a trader from Bharat with Gyan ji of Dattatraya Organisation. Government Minister RIckhi Singh and Opposition Leader Kamla Persad Bissessar both spoke at the event,” he added.
President of The Kendra, Gita Vahini compiled 40 verses from Tulsidas’ Ramcharitmanas titled, Mitayi kuyog, Ram Phiri Aayi – describing Bhagwan Ram’s return to Ayodhya and His coronation. Pandit Bali Maharaj’s ‘Mitayi kuyog’, a composition by Raviji in english was dedicated to the Janmasthan event at Ayodhya.
“Munroe Road Mandir held a village procession which ended at the Maha Sabha mandir under the auspicies of President Balliram Maharaj. Culminating the unusual Divali in January; our new Indian High Commissioner graciousky addressed the large audience at Charlieville,” said Raviji.
According to Rajni Patel, Chairman Hindu Mandal, Dipotsav and Bhajan were organised at Kigali’s Hindu Mandal Mandir in Rwanda. A two-day program was arranged. On the first day, Hanuman Chalisa, Maha Aarti, and visual representations of events that occurred during Bhagwan Ram’s Vanvas were presented to children. On the second day, Dipotsav, Bhajan, and Prasadam were distributed among the people. Sikh Community also participated on both days by offering kirtan. A strong unity among Hindus (Hindu, Jain, Sikh, and Buddhists) was observed. He also added that many of devotees became emotional while watching live telecast of Pran Pratishtha in Ayodhya.
In the ISKCON Mandir in Kiev, Ukraine, Pran Pratishtha Utsav was organised by the Bharatiya Community, as mentioned by Surya Mani,who lives in Kiev. Bharat’s Ambassador to Ukraine, Harsh Jain, Head of Chancery Satyendra Yadav, other distinguished diplomats, local Ukrainian devotees, and members of the Bharatiya community were present. Everyone, while enjoying the devotional programs, collectively recited Shri Ram Stuti and Hanuman Chalisa, followed by partaking in the Prasad.
Anita Karambalkar, Global Pran Pratishtha Coordinator Africa , said “Shree Sanatan Dharma Sabha in conjunction with Chinmaya Mission was a part of the 500000 global temples across the world which was organized by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad America in collaboration with Ram Janam Bhumi Thirtha Kshetra Trust. SSDS had a three days celebration attended by 5000 devotees beginning on the 20th Jan with the Padyakenyatra which started at the HCK with 14 temples from Nairobi joining the 6km procession which was led by the Horses, Bands and Bikers followed by the ISKCON Palanquin and more them 5000 devotees.”
According to Vimal Chaddha (Kenya Coordinator, HSS), Ramesh Babu (Sanghchalak) and Falguniben Patel (Chairperson Women Association), who reside in Nairobi, Kenya, said, “In Nairobi, numerous events were organised by the Sanatan Dharm Sabha Mandir, Jalaram Mandir, Sri Ram Mandir, BAPS, ISKCON, Kenya Brahm Sabha, and Patni Brotherhood. A total of eight to ten thousand people participated. Rath Yatra, Laser Shows, and motorbike events were organised at various places in Kenya, such as Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Kakamega and Kissi”.
According to Harmesh Singh, President, Indian Group Tea, in Greece, a two-day event was organised on January 21-22. On the first day, Bhajans and Kirtans were conducted at ISKCON in Athens. On January 22, at Shiv Mandir in Dilesi, Greece, havan was performed, and prasadam was distributed. Hindus from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka also attended the event. More than 100 people participated in the event.
In Uganda, celebrations took place at over 40 Hindu mandirs. Paresh Mehta mentioned, “We conducted a sakalp of 55 thousand diyas, which were lit by devotees.” Significant events were organised by BAPS and Shree Ganesh Mandir in Entebbe, established in 1904, making it the oldest mandir in East Africa. Additionally, a bike rally was organised by HSS and Shree Sanatan Dharma Mandal, with about 600 participants. In Kampala’s Sanatan Dharm Mandal Mandir, established in 1925 and a replica of Somnath Mandir, around 1200 people participated. State Minister of External Affairs, V. Murleedharan, along with the Team OFBJP Uganda, attended the event in Kampala. Also, 5000 lamps were lit up in this Mandir.
In Espoo, Finland, Akhand Ramayan was organised at Sai Mandir despite -22 degrees temperature. Priya Bhaskar played a very crucial role in organising the event. Abhishek B Agarwal mentioned that about 50-60 people participated in the padyatra in freezing temperatures. In another event, a Sundarkand Paath was organised at Sri Lankan Murughan Mandir.
Alok Lahad, residing in Barcelona, Spain, mentioned that due to the absence of a Hindu Mandir in their area, they rented a building and utilised posters of Devi-Devtas to organise bhajans and other cultural events. Along with the Bharatiya community living in the area, they also extended invitations to people from Nepal and Bangladesh. A total of 450 people participated in this event.
Rameshwar Singh from Moscow, Russia, said that, along with the Russian and Bharatiya community, they organised Ram bhajans and Ram Lila. Approximately 150 people attended this event. Singh stated, “We had invited the director of Moscow House of Nationality and the Director of Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre, which comes under ICCR.”
Sunaina Mohan, residing in Surinam, South America, mentioned that they initiated an Akhand Ramayan Path, Ram Lila, Ganesh Stuti, Kirtan, Ramayan Vani, and discussions on the history of the Ram Janmbhoomi movement. Eminent individuals from Surinam interacted with all the devotees. Approximately 2,000 devotees participated, including people of Bharatiya origin from Guyana, America, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Manoj Kumar, residing in Lima, Peru, said, “We organised a programme at Gita Ashram, attended by the Bharatiya community and local residents. More than 100 people participated, and many also lit up their houses.”