New Delhi:Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday left for Ayodhya to attend the Bhumipujan of the Ram Mandir, where he will lay the foundation stone of the temple at 1215 hrs.
He will lay a 40 kg silver brick to mark the symbolic start of the temple, marking the fulfilment of a promise that is core to the BJP's ideology.
Prior to the function, the Prime Minister will take part in pooja and darshan at Hanumangarhi -- a 10th-century temple of Lord Hanuman in Ayodhya, as it is believed that before visiting Lord Ram one should pay respect to his divine vanara companion.
He will then travel to Shree Ram Janmabhoomi where he will take part in pooja and darshan of 'Bhagwan Shree Ramlala Virajman'. He will then plant a Parijat (night-flowering Jasmine) sapling and subsequently perform Bhoomi Pujan.
Prime Minister will unveil a plaque to mark the laying of the foundation stone and also release commemorative postage stamp on 'Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir'.
Soil from almost 2,000 holy sites around India and water of around 100 holy rivers will be used in this foundation.
Apart from the PM, 50 VIPs, including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Mohan Bhagwat - the chief of the BJP's ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) -- will attend the ceremony.
Veteran BJP leaders LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, two of the prominent faces of Ram Janmabhoomi movement in the 1980s and 90s, have not been invited to the event, citing the pandemic and will attend it via video-conference.Home Minister Amit Shah, who tested positive for novel coronavirus on Sunday, will also not be participating in the ceremony.
As many as 175 spiritual leaders have been reported to attend the ceremony.Today's celebrations have been scaled down due to the coronavirus pandemic after a priest and 14 policemen on duty near the temple site tested positive for COVID-19.(UNI)