The stage is set for the grand opening ceremony of the new Ram Temple in Ayodhya, underway today with the attendance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This historic moment has particular significance as the temple’s construction has been a decades-long endeavor culminating in celebrations of national importance. PM Modi will lead the main “Pran Pratishtha” ceremony to consecrate the idol and site of Lord Ram, marking the temple’s official commencement. 

As reported by multiple news sources including NDTV, the construction of the magnificent temple structure is finally complete after five years of tireless effort by volunteers and artisans. Measuring around 161 feet tall with exquisitely carved pillars, domes and idols, the temple follows traditional north Indian architecture and has been built with white marble at an estimated cost of Rs. 1,800 crores. Today’s inaugural function will witness the placement of a 5.5 feet tall idol of Lord Ram and his wife Sita at the inner sanctum of the temple. This deeply auspicious moment is extremely meaningful not just for Ayodhya’s residents but Hindus worldwide who see Lord Ram as the embodiment of ideal virtues.

PM Modi’s participation in the inaugural ceremony highlights this occasion as a celebration of national pride and religious sovereignty for India’s Hindu majority. It is a landmark achievement for the Bharatiya Janata Party who has long championed the cause of constructing a temple at Lord Ram’s putative birthplace. Their vision which began in the 1980s after the site’s disputed structure was demolished by Hindu Kar Sevaks, has finally materialized after a protracted legal battle and Supreme Court ruling. Modi himself has championed the cause since his Chief Minister days and his presence today will add greater political significance. 

Several major celebrities and cultural figures have also gathered in Ayodhya to witness this landmark event. Personalities like Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth, Vicky Kaushal, Katrina Kaif, Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt along with sports icons like Sachin Tendulkar and Saina Nehwal reflect the temple’s mass appeal across sections of society. Political leaders from the ruling party as well as other states are in attendance showing the issue has largely achieved a national consensus now. However, some opposition figures and religious authorities have chosen to stay away, citing concerns over the function’s timing or wider implications. 

For Ayodhya town itself, the Ram temple opening assumes tremendous religious and commercial importance. The formerly quiet pilgrimage centre has transformed with airport, highway and railway upgrades in anticipation of hosting millions more devotees annually. Hotels, shops and homes have multiplied manyfold to accommodate the swelling crowds. The adjacent Saryu riverfront has also been redeveloped signifying Ayodhya’s emergence as a world class tourist and spiritual destination. 

While COVID protocols are being strictly followed and elaborate security arrangements made, excitement is palpable among the estimated 3 lakh people expected to attend today. Live broadcasts nationwide and online streaming worldwide will enable countless more to participate remotely in this epoch-making event. With the mandatory installation of Lord Ram’s idol now set to happen, a new chapter commences for Ayodhya and India’s cultural resurgence as tensions of the past finally settle on the foundation of this revered house of worship.