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How Ayodhya is prepping ahead of the Ram Temple consecration

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Ahead of the much-awaited inauguration of the grand Ram Temple at Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya on the 22nd January 2024, the historical temple town situated on the banks of the Sarayu river is being geared up for pilgrims and tourists not only from pan-India but also from across the globe as a major international pilgrimage centre.
The sacred city is being prepared to host lakhs of tourists who will flock to witness the consecration ceremony at the Ram Mandir dedicated to Lord Rama. From enhancing hospitality and inter & intra-city communication to ensuring sustainability, the birthplace of Lord Rama is decking up to welcome devotees and tourists.

Ayodhya Airport and flights

The Maharishi Valmiki International Airport Ayodhya Dham was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the 30th of December 2023, while flight operations began from the second week of January.
The Ayodhya airport, which was initially named Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram International Airport, has been renamed as the ‘Maharishi Valmiki International Airport Ayodhya Dham’, which will be a significant gateway to the temple town. More than Rs 1450 crores have been spent to develop the airport, which is equipped to cater to approximately 10 lakh passengers per year.
While flight operations from Delhi and Ahmedabad commenced on 10th January, the maiden flight by low-cost carrier Indigo from Mumbai and return took place on the 15th. Indigo and Air India Express are currently operating flights to and from Ayodhya. Meanwhile, Ayodhya will be connected by direct flights with two major metro cities Kolkata and Bengaluru from 17th January, as per an announcement by Air India Express.
Akasa Air and Spice Jet are expected to commence operations soon. While Akasa Air is expected to start flights to and from Ayodhya on 30th January, Spicejet is set to connect Ayodhya with Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Chennai from 1st February.

Solar rooftop at airport with CSR support

State-of-the-art facilities are being installed at the Ayodhya airport and railway station ahead of the consecration ceremony at the Ram Mandir.
Jakson Group, a leading Energy & Infrastructure company, headquartered at Noida, has installed a 250 kW solar rooftop system at the Maharishi Valmiki International Airport in Ayodhya. The group has also provided three 500 KVA diesel generators, for a reliable power backup system, as per an announcement made earlier this month.
According to Mr. Sameer Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director of Jakson Group, “We are playing an important role in the economic and social development of Uttar Pradesh through corporate social responsibility (CSR) along with the power needs of Uttar Pradesh. Our projects in Ayodhya reflect that vision. Together with the government, we are working to achieve our green energy goal. This will lay the foundation for a better future for UP and the country.”

EV auto rickshaw

International ride-hailing app Uber started its EV auto rickshaw service within Ayodhya city from 14th January, just a week ahead of the the Ram temple inauguration. According to a an announcement by Uber, the move aims to provide “accessible, economical, and environment-friendly transportation options as visitors to the holy city are expected to increase.”
EV auto rickshaws can be booked using the Uber mobile app. Uber plans to launch UberGo and Uber Intercity ride services within and to Ayodhya very soon depending upon demand.

Floating screen

The Uttar Pradesh Government, as part of its preparation for the consecration ceremony at the Ram Temple at Ayodhya is installing the country’s largest floating screen at Chaudhary Charan Singh Ghat. The floating screen will help visitors and pilgrims to watch the Pran Pratishtha and other cultural programmes connected with the same on 22nd January. The screen will later be installed at Aarti Ghat, as per an official statement by the CMO, Uttar Pradesh.

Hotels

With an expected boost in tourism to the temple town later this month, 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 are being signed by investors ahead of the Ram Temple consecration.

Amitabh Bachchan invests in Ayodhya

Meanwhile, Indian cinema superstar Amitabh Bachchan has reportedly bought a land in a luxury exclave called ‘The Sarayu’, which is just 15 minutes away from the temple. As per reports, the 10,000 sqft land tentatively costs Rs 14.5 crore.