Diwali 2021 celebrations began on a grand scale in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya on Monday with the inauguration of Shilp Bazar at Ram Katha Park and Ram Lila performance (staged by a cultural group from Nepal). The holy city is now gearing up for a remarkable Deepotsav 2021 by lighting 12 lakh diyas (earthen lamps) on the banks of the holy Sarayu River and in various parts of the temple town for the fifth edition of Deepotsav.
This year too, Deepotsav is determined to break its previous year’s record set by lighting 6 lakh diyas at Ram ki Paidi. Surpassing the magnificence of preceding Deepotsav has become a tradition from the time the first Ayodhya Deepotsav was held during Diwali in 2017 and since then, the festivities only got bigger and more spectacular with each passing year. This festive season is the best time for culture aficionados to book flights and travel to UP to understand the rich cultural heritage of the state.
On the eve of Diwali 2021, nine lakh diyas will flicker across Ram Ki Paidi, while the remaining three lakh will illuminate the temples, maths, and other places in Ayodhya to mark this beautiful Indian festival that celebrates the return of Lord Rama to his home along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana after 14 excruciating years of exile.
Apart from Ram Lila enactments and the grandest Deepotsav 2021, the 5-day celebrations at Ayodhya, one of the best places to celebrate Diwali in India, also include a 3D holographic show, a 3-D projection mapping, an aerial show by 500 drones, laser shows, fireworks, and a series of literary and cultural activities. During the aerial show, the drones will project the scenes from the epic Ramayana on Ayodhya’s skyline through animation and simulation technology.
The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, will perform the Sarayu aarti on the day of Deepotsav. He will also receive the artists who dress up as Lord Rama, Devi Sita, and Lord Lakshmana and arrive at Ram Katha Park in a chopper (this alludes to Rama’s return to his kingdom on a pushpaka vimana).
Deepotsav 2021 will be organized amid tight security in the city. Security personnel have been deployed to guard the entire area right from the venue of the Deep Utsav to the other side of the Sarayu coast, and barricades and CCTV cameras have also been installed. According to the local government, the number of diyas (9 lakh) is a symbol for the nine lakh beneficiaries of PM’s and CM’s Awas Yojanas in the state.