Ayodhya, Nov 3 : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Uttar Pradesh government has planned a number of programmes to make Diwali celebrations in Ayodhya grand.
Among various programmes, the biggest highlight is expected to be the laying foundation stone for grand statues of Lord Ram and Hanuman in the holy city.
The celebration would commence from Sunday and will end on November 6 and an effort would be made to create a world record by lighting 3 lakh earthen lamps(Diyas) on the banks of Saryu river.
Earlier, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had in 2017 proposed that a 151-metre tall statue of lord Ram should be constructed on the banks of Saryu River in Ayodhya. The tourism department of the state had presented a proposal in this regard before UP Governor Ram Naik.
Mr Adityanath is set to lay foundation for the pedestal of the Lord Ram's statue during Diwali at Ayodhya.
The height of the statue will be 151 metres as it will be put on a 44-metre pedestal on the bank of Saryu and will be part of Tourism department’s plan coined ‘Naya Ayodhya’.
An official said in Lucknow on Friday that the actual place where the statue would be installed was yet to be decided but it would not be very far away from Saryu river. Mr Adityanath, on his visit to Ayodhya on November 6, will lay foundation for the pedestal and the statue will be installed later, the official said.
The statue would be built at a cost of Rs 330 crore. It would be made of bronze and a sculptor from Noida is working on it.
The government also plans to construct a museum near the statue. It will have an art gallery and an auditorium. The museum and the art gallery will depict the life of Lord Ram, while the auditorium will host Ramleela events, the official said.
Apart from this, several other events have been planned to be held in Ayodhya from November 4 to 6. Ram Leela troupes from across the country have been invited to perform in the city.
The Ram-Sita duo, which emerges winners on these two days, will perform in a grand Ram Leela, scheduled to be held on November 6, when major Diwali celebrations will take place in Ayodhya.
Water and laser shows will also be organised during the events, and flowers will be showered by helicopters during the celebrations.
The main Diwali celebration is slated to be held from 0800 hrs to 2000 hrs on November 6, and would be attended by Mr Naik, Bihar Governor Lalji Tandon, Mr Adityanath and all other members of his government.
South Korean first lady Kim Jung-Sook will be the chief guest at the high octane ‘Deepotsav’ in Ayodhya.
Governors of several states from across the country will attend the event.
Earlier on Friday, Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey said that Mr Adityanath is expected to make some major announcement on Ayodhya during the Diwali celebrations.
'Diwali aane dijiye, khushkhabri ki pratiksha kijiye...Mukhyamantri ke haathon wo yojana saamne aayegi to uchit hoga (Let Diwali come, wait for the good news. It would be appropriate if the scheme is announced by the Chief Minister himself,” Mr Pandey had said. (UNI)