Mumbai: The actors of the epic tele-serial “Ramayana” (1987) and other celebs will join a mega-event on March 29 to celebrate the dispatch of the first consignment of teak-wood from Maharashtra for the ongoing construction of the Lord Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
Maharashtra’s Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said that the decks have been cleared for sending the best quality of the tough and durable teak-wood produced in Chandrapur district for the Ram Temple.
This teak-wood will go into making the temple’s main doors, inside doors, the entrance to the sanctum sanctorum, besides any other wooden requirements for the entire temple complex.
The minister said that the consignment will be sent with huge fanfare from the state with a procession, prayers, pooja, dance performances and other events for which prominent personalities have been invited to join.
These personalities include the starcast of the unforgettable tv-series “Ramayan” that was telecast on Doordarshan 35 years ago – Arun Govil, Deepika Chikhalia, Sunil Lahiri and others, yoga guru Ramdev Baba, Sadguru Sri Jaggi Vasudev and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, ministers, MPs and MLAs from Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh and other dignitaries, he said.
The procession will start at Ballarpur on Wednesday (March 29) with the worship of two ancient trees named ‘Ram and Laxman’ – which are reputed to have the largest girth in Asia – followed by another procession from the Mahakali Temple.
These will see a display of 43 types of folk arts of Maharashtra by 2,100 artists from across the state, with art forms like mallakhamb, dindi, lezim, dhol pathak, dhwaj pathak, Dashavatar, Gangaur, Tarpa, and presentations on the concept of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’.
As the processions will wend their ways, flowers will be showered on the teak-wood, with the roadsides decorated with rangolis and torans on the entire route.
Maharashtra’s ‘Narishakti’ and ‘Sade Tin Shaktipithe’ tableaux – which bagged the second prize in this year’s Republic Day celebrations, and Uttar Pradesh’s tableaux that won the third prize – shall also join the Chandrapur processions.
Playback singer Kailash Kher will render Lord Ram’s bhajans and devotional songs at a special programme that evening after the processions end near the Ram Temple in Chanda Chowk.
According to Mungantiwar, the Shriram Janmahoomi Teerth Kshetra (SJTK) General Secretary Champat Rai has said that for constructing various doors of the Ram Temple, they were scouting for the best quality wood which is expected to last more than a thousand years.
The Ram Temple trust Chairman Nripendra Mishra had met the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun (Uttarakhand) for the purpose which informed that the best quality of teak-wood in India can be sourced from Chandrapur.
A team of experts from L&T and TCI and the temple engineers checked and tested the teak-wood samples and stocks in Ballarpur and approved it as of top quality, said Rai.
Accordingly, the teak-wood shall be sent through the Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra, after which the temple artisans will carve designs and engravings on them as required, and Mungantiwar directed the concerned officers to ensure that the best quality is sent to Ayodhya.
It may be recalled that after all hurdles were cleared, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had performed the ground-breaking ceremony for the Ram Temple on August 5, 2020.
Since then, work is proceeding briskly with nearly two-thirds of the works on the main structure completed and the Ram Temple is scheduled for inauguration in January 2024 for millions of devotees.
Rai expressed his deep gratitude to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, and also urged that the first teak-wood consignment should be personally sent by Mungantiwar.
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