While the temple town of Ayodhya is gearing up for the grand foundation stone-laying ceremony of the Ram Temple, seven devotees from Bengaluru are preparing to embark on a journey to go witness the event. Even as the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust, on Saturday, issued an appeal to all devotees to watch the live telecast of the ceremony while lighting a diya at home, this group says that it is an event of a lifetime and the pandemic can't dampen their spirits.
"We know it is a time when coronavirus is rampant, but we will maintain social distancing rules and go by the guidelines. We will be offering a pooja here in Bengaluru on August 3 and then head to the airport to board the Lucknow-bound flight," said Sashikanth Sharma, a member of the Vishwa Hindu Parisad (VHP).
The group will also set up a 'bhavya bhandaar' (open kitchen) at the Hanuman Killa Mandir in Ayodhya on August 5. Through this initiative, they hope to provide free food to all devotees who will come to witness the event. "On the day of the ceremony, we will be serving food to all, even if there are 50,000 devotees we will serve them food from morning to evening," Sharma added.
Among those travelling is also Manjunath, a devotee who had earlier travelled to Ayodhya by foot carrying bricks from Bengaluru during the dispute days. Although, the group will not be travelling by foot this time around, they hope to take a little soil from the Ram temple in Bengaluru as an offering.
The group plans to return to Bengaluru by August 8 with a handful of holy soil from the Ram Mandir site, which it will later distribute among the Ram temples in the city.