Ayodhya, December 14
As temperatures drop in Uttar Pradesh and winter chill intensifies, the Ram Lalla idol and those of the deity’s brothers in a makeshift temple in Ayodhya have been provided blankets and a blower to keep them warm.
This is the second time since the Babri Mosque demolition in 1992 that such an arrangement has been made.
Last year, similar arrangements were made after the local Hindu religious leaders, along with some Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) members, had requested the Ayodhya Commissioner.
Before the court decision, the commissioner was the receiver of the temple.
“We have installed a blower heater in the makeshift temple to ensure that the temperature is under control and our deities do not suffer in this cold. Apart from this, the deities have been given warm clothes and have been covered in a blanket.
Earlier, we thought of making a fireplace too but as the makeshift temple is made of wood and glass, it will not be safe.
The arrangements made will continue till the winter is here,” said the chief priest of the temple, Acharya Satyendra Das.
He said since Lord Ram resides here as a child, special care is taken to protect him from the vagaries of the weather.
“The Lord is bathed in ‘itr’ (perfume) and the offerings made to him are in keeping with the weather,” he said.
The priest said the temple already had an air-conditioner installed to keep the deities ‘comfortable’ in summer.
The makeshift temple, situated around a few hundred metres from the Ram Janmabhoomi site, has the deities of Ram Lalla, and his brothers Bharat, Lakshman and Shatrughan along with deity Hanuman and Bhagwan Shaligram, who is represented by an oval black stone.
While the four brothers are on one platform, Hanuman and Bhagwan Shaligram are on two separate platforms.
Meanwhile, VHP spokesperson Sharad Sharma said this year no permissions were sought from local authorities, unlike last year.
“Last year we had met the Ayodhya Commissioner back in October and told him that ‘Ram Lalla’, who is the symbol of our faith, is shivering in the cold and arrangements should be made to keep his room warmer. We had asked permission for a room heater and blankets. We were granted the permission back then,” he said.
From 1992 to 2019 when the Ayodhya dispute was the court, the Supreme Court had ordered status quo at the site and permission had to be taken for any changes.