Making of another Ayodhya Ram Mandir in Odisha

Priyanshi Pareek

We all know about Ram Mandir of Ayodhya! Now let me introduce you to the newly inaugurated Ram Mandir of Odisha which is over 1000 km away from Ayodhya and over 1800 feet above sea level.

The temple was completed through generous donations from villagers and devotees across the state.

The Ram Temple in Fategarh, Nayagarh district, was inaugurated on Monday, coinciding with the consecration of the Ram Lalla idol in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. Over a lakh people gathered at the newly constructed hilltop temple in Fategarh for the inauguration ceremony.

Kelu Charan Nanda, the eldest Vedanga Brahmin of Fategarh, performed the Pran Pratishtha of idols depicting Lord Ram, Lord Lakshman, Lord Hanuman, and Goddess Sita in the recently constructed temple. Subsequently, he inaugurated the temple nestled in the lap of nature.

The hilltop was filled with a spiritual aura as Yajna, homa (havan), hymn recitations by Vadanga Brahmins, and rituals created a religious ambiance. Traffic congestion stretched from Bhapur to Fategarh, with the atmosphere resonating with the ‘Jay Shree Ram’ slogan. Emotions ran high as people stood in queues, expressing their reverence to the lord.

The Pran Pratishtha and inauguration ceremony concluded around 2 pm. At 2:40 pm, devotees were granted access to the temple to witness the deities. Tapan Patnaik, a local resident, mentioned that following the ceremony, devotees were offered prasad.

The Yajna and recitation of hymns, initiated on January 17, will extend until January 24. According to Benudhar Pradhan, vice-chairman of Bhapur block and a member of the temple trust, the entire inauguration process will conclude with the culmination of the Yajna on Wednesday.

Construction of the temple commenced in 2017, aided by contributions from Fategarh villagers and generous donations. The village, with a population exceeding 15,000, contributed over Rs 5 crore to the temple’s construction. Approximately Rs 11 crore has been utilised for the project, with additional funds coming from donations by individuals in nearby areas and beyond the district. The temple, crafted from Baulamala stone, stands as a testament to collective effort and community support, as highlighted by Benudhar Pradhan.

The villagers have formed a trust namely Sriram Seva Parishad to manage the Ram Mandir. “The hill is known as Sriram Pahad. According to the legend, people were going to the hilltop to perform Govardhan Puja seeking rain during drought. They believe that this hill is sacred for them,” said Tapan Patnaik, a local.

He said Daru of lord Sudarshan (a log of holy tree used for making idols of lord Sudarshan) was found from the hilltop in 1912. “The villagers finally decided to construct a Ram Temple at the sacred place,” he added.

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