The Ayodhya Ram Mandir has become a focal point for millions of devoted followers eagerly seeking darshan of Ramlala since its consecration. Over 30 lakh Ram devotees have flocked to the grand temple, setting a record for continuous arrival at any religious site in India or worldwide. The anticipation and crowd are expected to intensify in the lead-up to Ram Navami and the summer holidays in April.
If you’re considering a pilgrimage to the Ayodhya Ram Mandir, here are five crucial things to bear in mind:
1.Book Accommodation in Advance
For ease of travel, direct flights from various cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Jaipur, Patna, and Darbhanga connect to Ayodhya. Ensure you book your hotel room well in advance due to the high demand caused by the influx of devotees. Consider alternatives like Dharamshala or use the ‘Holy Ayodhya’ app for homestay bookings.
- Plan a 2-Day Trip
Due to the overwhelming number of devotees, a one-night stay is recommended for a comprehensive visit to Ayodhya Ram Mandir. A single day might not provide sufficient time to explore the city and predict the duration needed for darshan of Ramlala. A two-day trip allows ample time to visit the Ram temple, witness the annual Deepotsav at Ram ki Paidi in the evening, and explore the renowned Hanumangarhi temple. Don’t miss the delectable laddus available near Hanumangarhi temple.
- Timing Matters for Darshan
The ideal time for darshan of Ramlala is in the morning. The temple opens at 6:30 AM and continues darshan until 12 PM. The temple remains closed between 12 PM to 2 PM. It reopens at 2 PM and stays accessible until 10 PM. Early morning visits may offer a less crowded experience. Remember that no shoes, mobiles, electronic items, or bags are allowed inside the temple premises. Deposit all belongings at the pilgrim facility center before entering.
- Prepare for a Long Pilgrimage
Due to the significant crowd in Ayodhya, police check-posts may be encountered about 3-4 kilometers before Lata Mangeshkar Chowk, along the path leading to the temple. Vehicles might be halted at these points, so be prepared for a lengthy walk. The Uttar Pradesh government has introduced electric buses for pilgrims traveling on the religious path and Ram path in Ayodhya. Infrastructure development, including widening and beautification of three routes, parking facilities, and public amenities, is underway to accommodate the expected rise in tourists and devotees.
- Time Allotted for Darshan
With approximately 2.5 lakh Ram devotees visiting the Ram temple daily, devotees often need to wait in line for an hour or two for darshan of Ramlala. The Ram Janmabhoomi path leading to the main temple now provides amenities such as drinking water, chairs, and mats. Holding areas have been established to facilitate the organized movement of pilgrims. In the sanctum sanctorum, you’ll have only about 4-5 seconds to witness Ramlala. Various locations have stationed magistrates to control the crowd.
Future Developments and Preservation of Ayodhya Ram Mandir
With the rise in pilgrim numbers, Ayodhya is undergoing continuous development to enhance visitor experiences. The focus on beautification, parking facilities, and improved public amenities reflects a commitment to preserving the sanctity of the pilgrimage site while accommodating the needs of the growing influx of devotees.
Management of Devotee Crowds
The ever-growing number of devotees necessitates effective crowd management. Holding areas and designated paths help streamline the movement of pilgrims. Magistrates stationed at various points contribute to maintaining order and ensuring a peaceful pilgrimage experience
As the crowds of devotees continue to swell in Ayodhya, these practical considerations will help you navigate and make the most of your spiritual journey to the revered Ram temple.