Nearly half of the job at the Ram Temple in Ayodhya is complete after Prime Minister Narendra Modi did the ‘bhoomi poojan’ two years ago, and will visit the place again today on Diwali eve. But when he comes to Ayodhya the next time, probably in the end of 2023 to inaugurate the new Sri Ram temple, the town will be changed as well.
An airport will be up at Rs 1,157 crore in Ayodhya by then, named the Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram International Airport. The building of the airport is being built on the lines of the temple. A wide and grand corridor from the Sugriva Fort in Ayodhya to Shri Ram Janma Bhoomi would be ready, built on the lines of Kashi Vishwanath Dham corridor, to give pilgrims visiting the Ram Temple a divine experience. A widened and beautified Chaurasi Kosi Parikrama Marg at a cost of Rs 6,657 crore will also be ready for pilgrims who do the parikrama of Ayodhya on foot.
Development projects worth Rs 20,000 crore are afoot to make Ayodhya emerge as a ‘Global City, religious and tourism centre’ by 2024 with the government expecting a huge rush of devotees from all over the world here. A major attraction will be a Vedic green field township in Ayodhya for which Rs 3,000 crore is being spent and 83% of the land has been procured too. This will see development of a National Avenue as well as International Avenue in the form of state ‘bhawans’ and country ‘bhawans’ for the visitors.
A key project aimed for completion before the start of the temple is the Rs 5,924 crore Ayodhya by-pass project, which will be 67 km long to decongest the city. Two other roads, Bhakti Path (from Shringar Haat to Shri Ram Janmabhoomi) and Ram Path (from Sahadatganj to Nayaghat), are also being developed for better and quick access to the new Ram Temple. The Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) and the Centre is monitoring these projects with a deadline of 2024 so that visitors coming to the Ram Temple get a rich experience.
Record 2.2 Crore Tourists in Ayodhya This Year
These projects are crucial as tourist inflow has already been increasing in Ayodhya since 2017, and especially since the work on the Ram Temple began. The number of tourists visiting Ayodhya in 2017 was 1.78 crore which grew to 1.95 crore in 2018 and 2.04 crore in 2019. After the Covid lull in 2020 and 2021, a record number of 2.21 crore tourists visited Ayodhya this year till August, and the total figure is expected to cross 3 crore by the end of the year. “We expect at least 10 crore tourists to visit Ayodhya every year after the temple is opened in the end of 2023,” a senior UP government official said.
The increased tourist inflow led to a Rs 440 crore revamp plan for the railway station in Ayodhya. Also, by June 2023, the work of under-grounding the randomly spread electric wires in Ayodhya will be complete. Over 4 lakh LED lights have been installed in Ayodhya as well. The work of beautification of 108 mythological pools is also going on at a fast pace.
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