The annual 'Deepotsav' programme in Ayodhya on the eve of Diwali, will not be scaled down due to the prevailing pandemic situation. The event, in fact, will be held on a grander scale this year, even though there will be minimal public participation.
Since this is the first Deepotsav being held after the commencement of the Ram temple construction, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath wants the celebration to be grander than ever.
The Chief Minister, at a meeting with concerned officials, has asked the culture department for a detailed presentation for the 'Deepotsav' festival.
"The Chief Minister wants the Deepotsav this year to be a memorable event. We will ensure that people across the world see the event virtually," said an official.
The Deepotsav was started by Yogi Adityanath in 2017. The celebration saw the residents and volunteers, devotees coming together and lighting up a record number 1.76 lakh earthen lamps ("diyas").
Last year, Ayodhya made a world record of lighting 5.51 lakh diyas. The event had earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Record.
This year, however, it is still not clear whether the number of lamps being lit will be increased or not.
Sources said that the state tourism department is looking to beautify the temple town in an eclectic way.
The Deepotsav will see the installation of LED lightboxes in the city. Made of acrylic sheet, the boxes will illuminate the area in a brand-new way. The city roads will also see a stunning life-size structure depicting the 'Ram Darbar' on a chariot.
It will come up with an independent lighting arrangement.
There will be another installation of Ram Darbar at Ram ki Paidi on the banks of the Saryu river. The 18-feet-tall structure will have carved pillars and other decorative elements.
The Uttar Pradesh government has already granted the status of 'State fair' to the Deepotsav event in Ayodhya.
With the change in its status, the Mela will now be planned by the District Magistrate of Ayodhya.
The festival, last year, was held at an estimated cost of Rs 1.33 crore, government spokesperson Shrikant Sharma had said.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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