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How Ram Mandir will benefit Ayodhya and its people

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The Ram Mandir at Ayodhya is finally open with the ‘Pran Pratisthta’ or consecration ceremony performed on the 22nd January, 2024 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which marked a new chapter in the history of India. Everybody is celebrating the consecration of Lord Ram and the temple town is lit up beautifully and decked with flowers just like Diwali. The town is currently crowded with tourists which are almost outnumbering its actual population.
However, how will the newly inaugurated Ram temple benefit the local population? How will increased footfalls boost the economy of the temple town? The CSR Journal takes a look.

1. Tourism and hospitality in Ayodhya

With Ayodhya becoming a global religious tourism hub, the temple town will attract pilgrims and tourists from across the world. Ever since the judgement of the Supreme Court in 2019, the number of visitors has gone up in Ayodhya. As per reports, one in every 15 tourists headed to Uttar Pradesh paid a visit to Ayodhya with a curiosity to watch the Ram temple under construction in 2023 with the total number of tourists reportedly expected to cross over 3.5 crore in the year. Experts predict, in 2024, Ayodhya will witness a huge boost in religious tourism.
Global brokerage firm Jefferies predicts in a report that the newly inaugurated Ram Mandir is capable of attracting over 50 million tourists per year and will unlock India’s tourism potential. More than Rs 1450 crores have been spent to develop the newly inaugurated Maharishi Valmiki International Airport Ayodhya Dham, which is currently equipped to cater to approximately 10 lakh passengers per year.
With an expected boost in tourism, major hospitality groups like Radisson, Taj, and ITC are planning to come up with hotels in the city. Several five star hotels are expected to come up on the banks of the river Sarayu. With Ayodhya set to emerge as a global religious tourism hub, a seven-star luxury hotel is coming up in the temple town which will serve only vegetarian food, the first such hotel in the country.
As per reports, agreements for major investments in the hospitality sector in Ayodhya have been signed by investors ahead of the Ram Temple consecration.

2. Investment in Ayodhya’s real estate

Megastar of Indian cinema Amitabh Bachchan has recently purchased a piece of land in a posh seven-star luxury enclave in Ayodhya called ‘The Sarayu’ located near the banks of the Saryu River. The property, which is at a distance of 15 minutes away from the temple and half an hour from the Maharishi Valmiki International Airport Ayodhya Dham. The luxurious property spread over 51 acres, is being developed by Mumbai-based developer The House of Abhinandan Lodha (HoABL). The 10,000 sqft land reportedly costs Rs 14.5 crore.
“I am looking forward to embarking on this journey with The House of Abhinandan Lodha for The Sarayu in Ayodhya, a city that holds a special place in my heart. The timeless spirituality and cultural richness of Ayodhya have forged an emotional connection that transcends geographical boundaries,” the 81-year-old actor said in a statement.
However, it is not only the Bollywood megastar but people from across the nation and world, who are showing interest in buying a piece of land in the city which is now being termed as the ‘Global Spiritual Capital’. As a result, property prices have already gone up in the temple town which is now a hub of religious tourism. As per reports, land prices in some areas have increased by 5-10 times from what it used to be even 4-5 years ago.

3. Boost in Ayodhya’s economy

With increasing footfall, the temple-town has already started witnessing a boost in economy in multiple ways. The newly launched Ayodhya airport has started getting new flights daily while all trains entering Ayodhya Dham station are full with pilgrims and tourists. This has led to employment opportunities in and around the airport.

a) Local Businesses in Ayodhya

Ayodhya is witnessing reverse migration with boost in tourism and hospitality, with job seekers coming back to their home town Uttar Pradesh, be it for daily wage labour or any other kind of employment opportunity. Local businesses like utensils, sweets, fruits, flowers, candles, diyas and other pooja necessities have started experiencing a boost all thanks to the Ram Mandir.
Sunil Kumar Verma, grocery store owner
Sunil Kumar Verma, who runs a small grocery store near the temple, told The CSR Journal, “Visitors coming to the Ram Mandir, have started buying food items and other daily necessities from my shop since the last one year, which is a good thing for me. Our old town of Ayodhya has changed so much in the last one year, it has become a big city now which is difficult to believe for locals like us who have been born and brought up here.”

b) Accommodation in Ayodhya

Similarly, local restaurants, eateries and guest houses have started experiencing increased footfalls. Also, a lot of local residents are quickly transforming their homes into paying guest facilities and home stays for additional income. These will definitely be an affordable choice for pilgrims flocking from other parts of the state and country to a city, which till now has a very limited number of hotels and guest houses and all are full due to the Ram temple consecration ceremony. As per reports, around 50 homestays and more than 600 paying-guest facilities were inaugurated in the temple town ahead of the consecration last week to accommodate tourists flocking from everywhere.