Yogi Adityanath government has arranged for grand Diwali celebrations in the temple town of Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh keeping COVID-19 guidelines in place. Preparations are underway for this year’s ‘Deepotsav’ celebrations at the Ram ki Paidi in Ayodhya. The Deepotsav celebrations started on November 13 with ‘Chhoti Diwali’.
This year’s celebrations are exceptional since it is the first after the Supreme Court in a historic judgement gave its consent for the construction of the Ram Mandir, ending a dispute spanning centuries. Uttar Pradesh Tourism Minister Neelkanth Tiwari said that this would be the first time when Deepotsav would be held at the Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya, “an event that has been pending for the last 500 years”.
For this reason, the zeal and enthusiasm of the people of Ayodhya this year has been unmatched. Several people on Thursday got together to decorate the Ram ki Paidi in Ayodhya with diyas, paintings and rangolis for the event.
More than 100 workers dedicated to the preparation of 11 tableaus. This year 5.51 lakh earthen lamps would be lit at Ram ki Paidi ghats.
“As per the directions of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Deepotsav 2020 that will be held in Ayodhya, there are arrangements for virtual Deepotsav. Due to COVID-19, devotees who are unable to reach Ayodhya will be able to light a lamp in front of Sri Ram Lala Virajman through the website,” a Tweet from the Office of Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh read.
CM श्री @myogiadityanath जी के निर्देशों के क्रम में अयोध्या में आयोजित किए जा रहे ‘दीपोत्सव-2020’ में वर्चुअल दीपोत्सव की व्यवस्था की गई है। कोविड-19 के कारण अयोध्या न पहुंच पाने वाले श्रद्धालु वेबसाइट के माध्यम से श्रीरामलला विराजमान के समक्ष वर्चुअली दीप प्रज्ज्वलित कर सकेंगे।— CM Office, GoUP (@CMOfficeUP) November 9, 2020
Announcing the launch of the website, a statement by the Uttar Pradesh government read that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had given instructions to celebrate Diwali at Ayodhya with grandeur but clearly stated that COVID-19 protocol should not be violated anywhere and instruction had been given to conduct separate programs.
On the eve of Diwali, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath also offered prayers to Lord Ram at the Ram Janmabhoomi site. It may be noted that, due to ongoing construction of the Ram Mandir, Ram Lalla was shifted from the original position.
“After waiting for nearly five centuries, the dream of building the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi temple is finally being fulfilled. No devotee should be deprived of lighting the lamp of faith in the Ram Darbar. To ensure the participation of all, the Uttar Pradesh government has prepared a website where virtual lamps can be lit,” the statement said.
This unique platform will allow participants to light a virtual lamp in front of an image of Lord Ram, with the option to choose different lampstands. Alternatives like ghee, mustard and sesame oil will also be available. Additionally, the virtual hands that will light the lamp will also vary depending on the gender of the devotee.