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Adityanath Government Firms Up Blueprint For Ayodhya Makeover, VHP Seers Maintain Pitch On Carved Stone Temple

Worker cutting stone in preparation to build Ram temple in Ayodhya. (Burhaan Kinu/Hindustan Times via GettyImages)

The blueprint for making Ayodhya reshape itself in grandiosity seems to be ready. According to reports, Yogi Adityanath government is working towards giving the city and the pilgrimage site revered by the Hindus its 'treta yug' character.

The Economic Times in this report states that "the blueprint for the makeover has been hammered out by the prestigious London-based consultancy firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)."

The state government, as per reports, is planning to push for a "magnificent makeover" of Ayodhya. The makeover will be done keeping in focus the "Ayodhya of Ram". This could translate into almost recreating in elements and parts the Ayodhya of the ‘treta yug’.

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The beginning of the construction of Ram temple is expected to take place on Ram Navami in 2020.

The state government plans to make Ayodhya the focal point in a pilgrimage centric Hindu tourist circuit.

On social media, in years and days preceding the Supreme Court verdict, the devout would talk about the need to see and make Ayodhya a pilgrimage centre on the same scale as the Mecca is for Muslims and the Vatican for Christians.

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When the verdict favouring the Hindus came, the focus shifted to making Ayodhya not only fall in the same league as the centre of devotion in terms of the building of a hub surrounding the Ram temple, as Mecca and Vatican, but also make it surpass the two in grandiosity.

The completion of the Ram temple is expected to rocket the footfall of Ayodhya — beyond that of the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

The mutts, existing temples and the lanes will be spruced up. Railway overbridges and a parikrama route on the lines of other pilgrimage sites will be bolstered.

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Expecting a momentous footfall, the state government is putting together all thoughts to keep the needs of devouts from all sections of the social spectrum.

The plan is to look into the needs of the high footfall with infrastructure including five-star hotels, three-star hotels and dharmashalas. Roads that will bring in the footfall from Prayagraj, Kashi, Sultanpur and Basti will be widened to smoothen the traffic flow.

The high pitch to road infrastructure, along with the coming up of bus stations and a commercial airport, which the state government is aiming at, are all expected to be a turning point for Ayodhya.

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Seers have begun their work towards the planning for the temple. Though the final word lies with the state government on what will be taken from the drawing board to the land, efforts are on from seers to put their ideas before the UP government and the Centre.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), which has been at the forefront of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, is looking at steering the emotion for the building of the temple through the symbolic participation of devotees after VHP-promoted Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas was denied a role in temple building by the Supreme Court.

VHP, as per this report, plans to take the help of crowdfunding from bhaktas for propelling its plan and vision of the temple preserved for almost three decades now.

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The news of another plan, of making the Ram temple in gold has come up. According to this report, "Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati, who heads the Dwaraka Peeth in Gujarat", was recently in Ayodhya to "map the size" of the makeshift temple. "As per their plan, interiors of the sanctum would be of gold while rest may be gold-plated.”

There is a difference in opinion popping up between VHP and others. VHP is pitching for a temple in carved stone. The idea of temple in gold is not appealing to its seers.

The idea of the temple in gold has also come from Shankaracharya Swaroopanand Saraswati's disciple Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati, who is heading the Ayodhya Sri Ram Jamabhoomi ‘Ramalaya Nyas’ and expressed their vision of a Ram temple in gold last week.

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It is the VHP model which has stayed in the minds of Ram bhaktas since the launch of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, the VHP and its seers have maintained.

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