Ayodhya temple gears up for Ram Lalla’s first Holi


PTI, Mar 24, 2024, 8:02 PM IST

Ram Lalla will celebrate Holi at his new Ayodhya temple on Tuesday, a day after the festival will be celebrated across the country, with nine priests performing special prayers and applying eco-friendly ‘gulal’ on him.

Later, devotees will play Holi with the same ‘gulal’. The celebration will last for five hours, Ram temple head priest Satyendra Das told PTI on Sunday.

The bright pink ‘gulal’ has been made from kachnar flowers. Devotees believe that kachnar was Ayodhya’s ”state tree” in Treta Yuga.

”The trustees (of the Ram temple) have decided that Ram Lalla will be playing Holi on Tuesday using ‘gulal’ made from kachnar flowers which were brought from Lucknow. Nine priests, including the head priest, will apply ‘gulal’ on Ram Lalla after his ‘shringar aarti’ and then the same gulal will be applied on the devotees,” Satyendra Das said. ”Holi will be played from around 7 am to 12 noon,” he said.

The festival will be celebrated in a very grand and divine manner. Devotees are excited as this is the first Holi in Ayodhya after the January 22 Ram temple consecration ceremony.

Raju Das, the priest of the Hanumangarhi temple in Ayodhya, told PTI, ”Holi is one of the most ancient festivals. Be it the era of Lord Ram or that of Lord Krishna, Holi has been celebrated with full festive fervour and enthusiasm.” Ayodhya resident Prajjwal Singh is also excited about the Holi celebrations.

”This is the first Holi after the consecration of the Ram Lalla idol and the people of Ayodhya are very happy about it. Like the Holi of Mathura, which has gained international recognition, we hope that the Holi of Ayodhya will also gain global popularity in the coming years,” he said.

The ‘gulal’ that will be applied on Ram Lalla has been prepared by a team of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Botanical Research Institute (CSIR-NBRI).

CSIR-NBRI Director Ajit Kumar Shasany told PTI, ”Ram Lalla is very young and we cannot make him play Holi with chemical colours. So, he will play Holi with the ‘gulal’ made from kachnar flowers, which have 30 medicinal properties.

The pink ‘gulal’ derives its colour from the flowers. Vegetable starch has been used as the base material for the ‘gulal’ instead of talcum powder, he said.

Shasany said 2-3 kg of ‘gulal’ was made using 5-6 kg of kachnar flowers collected over a span of two months.

”This variety of ‘gulal’ will not harm the skin and can be washed off easily,” he said.

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