Ram Janmabhoomi Teerath Kshetra Trust on Saturday sent the formal invitation to PM Narendra Modi Credit: Twitter image

New Delhi: After years of deliberations, the final date of the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh was set in a meeting on Saturday, while inviting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the occasion.

If sources are to be believed, the date for the proposed stone-laying ceremony has been set for August 5, when Ram Janmabhoomi Teerath Kshetra Trust on Saturday sent the formal invitation to the PM. Moreover, one of the members of the Trust, Kameshwar Chaupal, was quoted as saying by media reports that Modi has given his consent.

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This was decided in a meeting of the trust members on Saturday. At the meeting, talks were also held to scale up the size of the Ram Temple. There was also consensus on the two auspicious dates — August 3 or August 5, based on planetary configurations to be the dates of ‘Bhoomi Pujan.’ Nripendra Misra, PM’s former principal secretary and chairman of the temple construction committee, was also reportedly present in the important meeting.

Champat Rai, General Secretary of the Trust, while talking to the media, said that the Prime Minister’s office will make the final call for the date. After the apex court ruled in favour of the temple at Ramjanmabhoomi, this was the first high-level meeting convened by the Trust in Ayodhya.

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Rai also added that they would launch a nationwide outreach to mobilise at least 10 crore families after the monsoon. This is to crowd-fund the project, which according to him, will symbolise the ‘core of Hindu faith.’ Additionally, officials said that the entire project would take three to three and a half years to complete after the map is finalised.

Amendments to the design laid down by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (ones who spearheaded the temple movement for decades) were also agreed on by the trust. There is also a proposal of raising the height of the temple from 128 feet to 161 feet and an increase in the number of conical domes from three to five, as stated by Rai. There is another proposal of extending the temple circumference to 108 acres from 70 acres.

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The decision to raise the height of the Ram Mandir was taken after consultations of all the trust members, said reports. Moreover, the discussions to alter the design of the temple were already on since the verdict from the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the temple trust seems quite keen on the early launch of the temple construction. Moreover, Misra had been camping in Ayodhya for the past four days while meeting other trust members. He even visited the Ramjanambhoomi site, which is presently being leveled by earthmovers.

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