‘Big Day for Us’: Ayodhya Comes Alive as Modi Holds Grand Roadshow, Inaugurates Maharishi Valmiki Airport

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The sound of conch shells, chanting of bhajans, cultural programmes and a sea of devotees greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he took out a grand roadshow amid slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ during his visit to Ayodhya on Saturday.

Ahead of the consecration ceremony of Ram’s idol scheduled for January 22, 2024, the prime minister flagged off eight trains at the revamped Ayodhya railway junction, visited the newly built Veena Chowk, inaugurated the Ram temple-themed Maharishi Valmiki airport and laid the foundation of development projects worth over Rs 15,000 crore.

A trustee of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra said the selection process for the idol of Ram Lalla has been completed and the unanimously chosen idol will be brought for the ‘pran pratishtha’ ceremony next month.

PM’s visit marked by grand 8-km roadshow

Prime Minister Modi’s 8-km roadshow began soon after he landed at the temple town amid much fanfare. The roadshow began from the airport’s gate number 3 and headed towards the highway where people had gathered to catch a glimpse of him.

“It’s indeed a big day for us. Ayodhya has regained its lost glory and it’s all because of our chief minister Yogi Adityanath and PM Narendra Modi. We are anxiously waiting for January 22, 2024, the day the idol of Lord Ram will be placed in the temple,” said Prakash Bajpayee, a local resident who had been waiting for hours to see PM Modi.

Floral tribute to ‘swar kokila’ Lata Mangeshkar

The roadshow then headed towards the Lata Mangeshkar Chowk or Veena Chowk via Dharampeth, where Modi paid a floral tribute to the playback singer Lata Mangeshkar, also known as ‘swar kokila’.

Six Vande Bharat, two Amrit Bharat trains flagged off

The grand roadshow was followed by the inauguration of the revamped Ayodhya railway junction, where Modi flagged off six Vande Bharat and two Amrit Bharat trains.

The Amrit Bharat express is a new category of superfast passenger trains, equipped with the LHB (Link Hofmann Busch) push-pull feature. These trains, however, come with non air-conditioned coaches and have locomotives at both ends for better acceleration.

“It provides improved facilities for rail passengers, like beautifully designed seats, better luggage racks, mobile charging points with suitable mobile holders, LED lights, CCTV, and a public information system among others,” said an official with the Northern Railway (NR).

The trains have been launched for Darbhanga-Ayodhya-Anand Vihar Terminal and Malda Town-Sir M Visvesvaraya Terminus (Bengaluru). Besides, the Vande Bharat express trains were also flagged off for Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra-New Delhi; Amritsar-Delhi; Coimbatore-Bangalore Cantt; Mangalore-Madgaon; Jalna-Mumbai and Ayodhya-Anand Vihar Terminal.

Maharishi Valmiki Ayodhya Dham international airport inaugurated

This was followed by the inauguration of the Maharishi Valmiki Ayodhya Dham International Airport. The airport, which will begin operations from January 6, has been developed at a cost of over Rs 1,450 crore and will serve at least 10 lakh passengers annually.

Officials said once it is operational, people from big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Ahmedabad can fly into Ayodhya. “Our government is determined to develop world-class infrastructure, improve connectivity and preserve the rich heritage of Ayodhya – the city of Lord Shri Ram. In this direction, I will inaugurate the newly constructed airport and redeveloped railway station tomorrow. Along with this, I will also get the privilege of inaugurating and laying the foundation stone of many more development projects that will make the life of my family members in many areas of the country, including Ayodhya and UP, easier,” Modi said in a post on X on Friday (December 29).

The PM also inaugurated development projects worth Rs 15,000 crore, including projects worth about Rs 11,100 crore for the development of Ayodhya and its surrounding areas and projects worth Rs 4,600 crore related to other projects across UP.


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