(Image source from: Twitter.com/BJP4India)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi played a significant role in leading the 'Pran Pratishtha' rituals during the inauguration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. The first images of the infant Lord Ram, known as Ram Lalla, were unveiled after the idol had been adorned with gold and emerald jewelry. The idol, which had been placed in the temple the previous week, had its face revealed with closed eyes. Today, the unveiling of the full face took place as the scarf covering the eyes was removed. PM Modi conducted the 'Pran Pratishtha' in the auspicious 84-second 'muhurta', and before that, he participated in rituals alongside RSS chief Mohan Bhagwant.
Amidst grand celebrations, the Prime Minister entered the Ram temple a few minutes before the rituals commenced. The venue saw a host of guests, including Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan, his son Abhishek Bachchan, and other celebrities like Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Katrina Kaif, and Vicky Kaushal. Cricket legends Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble were also present at the Ram Mandir. Prominent business figures Mukesh Ambani, his wife Nita Ambani, and daughter Isha Ambani were seen arriving at the event. Renowned actor Rajinikanth was also in attendance.
Before PM Modi's arrival, Indian Airforce helicopters showered flower petals over the Ram Mandir premises, adding to the festive atmosphere in Ayodhya. The city had witnessed a festive buzz in the days leading up to the event, with devotees chanting 'Jai Shri Ram' and Lord Ram-themed posters adorning the streets. Emotions ran high as BJP veterans Uma Bharti and Sadhvi Rithambara were pictured embracing each other before the 'Pran Pratishtha' rituals. However, BJP veteran LK Advani was unable to attend due to the extreme cold temperature.
PM Modi had earlier announced that he would participate in 11 days of rituals preceding the Ram temple's inauguration today. Opposition parties were also invited to the event, but they declined, accusing the government of politicizing the occasion ahead of this year's Lok Sabha elections.