After Allahabad becoming Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Tuesday announced that Faizabad would henceforth be known as Ayodhya. Addressing a grand “Deepotsav” event organized in the pilgrim town, Yogi said, “Ayodhya is a symbol of our ‘aan, baan aur shaan’ (honour, pride, and prestige)”.
“We have come here to assure you that nobody can do injustice to Ayodhya, no force in the world can do that,” Yogi said.
Proclaiming holy city Ayodhya is identified with Lord Ram, he also announced the setting up of a new airport in Ayodhya named after Lord Ram and a medical college in the name of king Dashrath, father of Lord Ram, in the district.
“Deepotsav is about starting a new tradition,” Yogi said at the Ram Katha Park on the eve of Diwali. The event was also attended by the First Lady of South Korea, Kim Jung-sook, and Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik.
Several projects, including those related to the redevelopment and beautification of the “Ram ki Paidi” and the stoppage of sewage disposal in the Sarayu River, were launched at the event.
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A section of the crowd was also heard shouting “Mandir ka Nirman karao” (build a temple).
In his address, Yogi hailed Narendra Modi and described the projects undertaken by the latter as akin to a “Ram Rajya”. Ayodhya is known around the world for Lord Ram and the festival of Diwali is celebrated due to the legend of him returning home from “vanvas” (exile).
Later, on the banks of the Sarayu River, a new world record was set with over three lakh “diya” (earthen lamps) lit up simultaneously, officials said. “A total of 3, 01,152 earthen lamps were lit up simultaneously for a period of five minutes, which is a new record,” said Rishi Nath, official adjudicator of the Guinness World Records. Earlier in the day, after arriving in Ayodhya from Lucknow in a special chopper, First Lady Kim began her tour by offering tributes at the Queen Heo Memorial.
Kim, in her address, recalled the historic ties between India and Korea and said she prayed for both countries as they moved towards a future of peace and prosperity together. According to Korean legend, the princess of Ayodhya went to Korea in 48 AD and married king Kim-Suro.
A large number of Koreans trace their ancestry to this legendary princess, who is known as queen Heo Hwang-ok.