Lucknow, Nov 9: Ayodhya is all set to host the seventh edition of three-day long Deepotsav celebrations which will take off on Thursday. Ram Katha Park will acquire the centre stage with Bharat Kund, Guptar Ghat, Birla Dharamshala and Ramghat which will host a number of cultural programmes.
The state government has invited artists from various parts of the country for the celebrations which will culminate on November 11 with Deepotsav where at least 21 lakh diyas will be lit at Ram Ki Paidi along the Saryu River and other parts of the temple town.
Folk music and dance forms Dhobiya and Faruwahi will be the highlight of the celebrations and artists from Azamgarh, Mathura, Jhansi, Jaunpur and other parts of the state will perform during the celebrations.
“Munna Lal from Azamgarh and Rajesh Sharma from Mathura will lead the shows. Ram Barat and ‘jhanki’ will be taken out in the city and Bundeli Rai dance will be showcased as the main attraction,” a senior official said.
Artists from Kerala and Sikkim will present programmes. “Kunjiraman will present Kathakali dance form of Kerala while Sharad Chandra Singh will perform Sindhi Cham art and dance which is popular in Sikkim. Mandeep from Jammu and Kashmir will give a glimpse of his state through Rouf, a local dance form. While visiting popular religious sites, artists will perform Gendi, a dance style from Chhattisgarh, Garba from Gujarat, Dalkhai from Odisha, Dollu Kunitha from Karnataka and Kalbelia dance of Rajasthan,” the officer added.
Meanwhile, the Yogi Adityanath government is trying to raise the bar by lighting 21 lakh earthen diyas on November 11.
Last year a record was created by lighting up 15.76 lakh diyas at the same time.
To ensure the new record could be achieved this time, earthen lamps are going to be spread out over 51 ghats at Ram Ki Paidi.
A government spokesperson said that a total of 24 lakh diyas are going to be put up by volunteers out of which 21 lakh are expected to be lit up at the same time to create the record.
About 25,000 volunteers are going to be deployed for the job with a majority being students from Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University. Identity cards and bus services have been provided to ferry the students from Lohia and other colleges to the site.
A 4.5-foot-wide block will house 256 diyas in 16 by 16 formation. The volunteers will start work at the site from Thursday noon onwards. The local municipal corporation will assist in cleaning and sweeping of the ghats before diyas are lined up.
The volunteers have been asked to pour 30 ml mustard oil in the diyas on November 11 before the event. A circulation space will be created within the grid to facilitate movement of volunteers who would provide the cotton wick and oil on the final day.