The extended timing to offer prayers at the new Ram temple in Ayodhya came into effect on January 25 with ‘darshan’ being allowed from 6 a.m. as key roads leading to the temple town remained closed to regulate vehicular movement.
Authorities have implemented strict security measures in Ayodhya amid a huge rush of people following the January 22 consecration ceremony. Rapid Action Force and Central Reserve Police Force personnel have been deployed outside the temple and roads from Basti, Gonda, Ambedkarnagar, Barabanki, Sultanpur and Amethi blocked 15 kilometres ahead of their borders with Ayodhya.
On January 24, the temple management decided to let people offer prayers from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and allotted 15 minutes for ‘aarti’ and ‘bhog’ from 12 noon. Earlier, it was 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a two-hour break in between.
In Pictures | Ram temple consecration ceremony in Ayodhya
On January 25, devotees started arriving in the temple town on the occasion of ‘Paush Purnima’ and thousands were seen taking a holy dip in the Saryu river.
Ayodhya Commissioner Gaurav Dayal earlier said, “We are trying to ease the situation. We are allowing emergency vehicles and vehicles carrying perishable items to move into Faizabad but the entry into Ayodhya town is still closed.” Vehicles from nearby districts have been prohibited from entering Ayodhya district, he added.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath held a meeting with officials in Lucknow to review the steps taken for crowd management and advised VIPs planning to visit the temple to inform authorities in advance.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has requested his Cabinet colleagues to avoid visiting the Ram temple in Ayodhya at least until March.