Amit Shah Announces Ram Temple Opening Date

| Updated: January 5, 2023 7:14 pm

The Ram temple in Ayodhya will be opened on January 1, 2024, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said in Tripura today, sketching a strong beginning to the election year. The general elections are due in 2024 and the opening of the temple is expected to be a milestone for the ruling BJP, which counts the temple movement as the fulcrum for its emergence as a national electoral force in the 1990s.

Shah said that “The Congress hindered the construction of Ram Temple in courts… After the Supreme Court verdict came, Prime Minister Narendra Modi began the construction of the temple.”

Earlier, In November, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had said that the construction of the temple had crossed the halfway mark and it would be ready by December this year.

The construction at the site, which has been caught in a legal battle for decades, began in August 2020, after the Supreme Court granted permission for a temple to be built there. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone on August 5.

The completed temple will have 160 columns on the ground floor, 132 columns on the first floor and 74 columns on the second floor. There will be five “mandaps” or pavilions. There will be a pilgrim facilitation centre, museum, archives, research centre, auditorium, a cattle shed, an administrative building and rooms for priests on the grounds.

Interestingly, there are also plans to develop nearby heritage structures like “Kuber Tila” and “Sita Koop”.

However, The historic opening of the temple is expected to showcase the triumph of one of India’s longest-running campaigns, which found resonance with millions in the country and abroad.

In the 1990s, with the rath yatras of senior BJP leader LK Advani, the marginal demands for a temple in Ayodhya that recurred since the British period, coalesced into a mass movement, catapulting the BJP to the country’s political centrestage.

In 1992, a mosque built by the 16th century Mughal emperor Babar over what many believe to be Lord Ram’s birthplace was destroyed, sparking one of the most puzzling political issues of the post-Independence era.

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