Ayodhya: Ayodhya broke the Guinness World Record on Friday night as hundreds of thousands of earthen lamps were illuminated at the banks of river Saryu, as part of Deepotsava celebrations, casting a glowing light over this ancient city.
The 584,000 oil lamps broke the Guinness world record, when these burnt simultaneously for more than 45 minutes, providing a stunning spectacle where flickering lamps cast a glow on the Sarayu River for the visitors and residents, who came at the bank of the river to celebrate the occasion.
Last year, Ayodhya set a record by lighting 409,000 oil lamps. This year's target was to light 551,000 oil lamps.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath declared that over 584,572 lamps were lighted. ''This was possible only because of thousands of volunteers, who toiled hard to ensure the success of this mission,'' he said.
Government spokesperson and Director of Information Shishir Kumar affirmed that the lamps set a record. Representatives from the Guinness World Records handed over the certificate to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, after monitoring the record with drone cameras.
Anuj Jha, District Magistrate, Ayodhya told this reporter on Friday that over 8000 volunteers, majority of them college students, worked tirelessly to ensure that lamps burn for the prescribed time, so that ''we can break the Guinness record''.
The administration had purchased over 700,000 lamps, 100,000 of which were cow dung lamps, from the local artisans.
The diyas were placed at the steps of the river bank. Throwing the precaution of social distancing because of COVID pandemic to the winds, the lighting of lamps was carried out at 28 ghats. The lamps were also lit at the major temple, markets and other historic places of the city.
''We have been working for the last three days and arranged the diyas (earthen lamps) in a systematic manner. Training was given to us as how to light the diyas without disturbing symmetry,'' Anita Chauhan, a student of the Saket Degree College, said here.
''The big challenge for us was to ensure that these lamps glow for at least 45 minutes as this is mandatory for breaking the Guinness record. We ensured that oil was put continuously in these lamps, so that these do not extinguish,'' she added.
Earlier, the scene of `Tretayuga' came back to life again on Friday when Lord Ram, along with Sita and Laxman, touched the grounds on the 'Pushpak Vimana,' after completing 14 years of exile.
People waited with a baited breath to welcome Lord Ram with the same zeal, devotion and enthusiasm that the city would have witnessed when the Lord returned after defeating Ravana.
Chants of 'Jai Shri Ram' kept on reverberating in the atmosphere with the 'Deepotsava' starting at its scheduled time.
The reception of these symbolic forms of Gods was attended by UP Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and other dignitaries.
The CM also offered prayers on behalf of the devotees after which the scenic reunion of Lord Ram and his brother Bharat took place bringing alive the memories of Lord Ram's coronation ages ago amidst vedic chant.
He Chief Minister also bowed before 'Ram' and sought blessings for the people's welfare.
Mr Adityanath, who arrived in Ayodhya for the Deepotsav, first went to the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Temple and offered prayers for the welfare of people.(UNI)