Ayodhya: Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, business tycoons Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani, and sporting icon Sachin Tendulkar are among India's crème de la crème who have been invited as state guests for the consecration of the Ram temple on Monday.
While about 8,000 people are in the long list of invitees, the select list features 506 A-listers, including prominent politicians, leading industrialists, top film stars, sportspersons, diplomats, judges and high priests.
According to the list, which PTI has accessed, Bachchan will fly into Ayodhya in a private chartered plane for the opening of the 161-feet tall pink sandstone shrine.
From the film industry, the list features Tamil superstar Rajnikant as well as Telugu mega stars Prabhas, Allu Arjun and Junior NTR. Bollywood actors Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher and Ajay Devgn are on the list, which also features Kangana Ranaut, Madhuri Dixit as well as BJP’s actor-MPs Hema Malini and Sunny Deol.
Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan, lyricist and poet Manoj Muntashir and his wife, lyricist and writer Prasoon Joshi, and director Sanjay Bhansali have been invited as state guests.
Also in the list are directors Madhur Bhandarkar as well as singers Shreya Ghoshal, Kailash Kher, Shankar Mahadevan, Anup Jalota, Sonu Nigam and Anuradha Paudwal have also been invited. Actor Arun Govil, who portrayed Lord Ram in Ramanand Sagar's TV series "Ramayan", has also been invited as has his co-star in the show Dipika Chikhlia who played the role of Sita.
The South film industry is represented by Chiranjeevi, Mohanlal and Allu Arjun among others.
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, BJP president J P Nadda Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and several sitting and former judges, including Ranjan Gogoi have been included in the state guest list.
Senior BJP leader and former deputy prime minister L K Advani and senior party leader Murli Manohar Joshi, who played prominent roles in the Ram temple movement, are also on the list, which also has the family of Kalyan Singh, who was chief minister of Uttar Pradesh when the Babri Masjid was demolished.
Former Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Ranjan Bhattacharya, son-in-law of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former presidents Ramnath Kovind and Pratibha Patil, and former vice president M Venkaiah Naidu are there too.
Former ISRO chairperson K Sivan and DRDO scientist Sudarshan Sharma too have been invited. Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi, ISRO director Nilesh Desai, senior advocate Harish Salve as well as former diplomats Veena Sikri and Lakshmi Puri, Vande Bharat Express train mastermind Sudhanshu Mani, and G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant are also among the invitees.
Former union minister Arun Jaitley's wife Sangeeta and daughter Sonali, former Planning Commission chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia, former Lok Sabha speakers Sumitra Mahajan and Meira Kumar, and HD Kumaraswamy are on the list too.
Uma Bharti and Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti as well as several top priests have been given state guest status.
Cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar, chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, sprint queen PT Usha and footballer Bhaichung Bhutia are among the prominent sports personalities who have received invitations.
Cricket stars former and present, including Kapil Dev, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, little master Sunil Gavaskar, Virat Kohli, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, Virendra Sehwag, Ravindra Jadeja and Rohit Sharma have got invites.
Weightlifter Karnam Malleswari, women cricket captain Mitali Raj, shuttler Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu and her trainer Pullela Gopichand have also been invited.
The list of industrialists invited is longer.
Billionaire Mukesh Ambani, his mother Kokilaben, wife Neeta, sons Akash and Anant, daughter-in-law Shloka and would-be daughter-in-law Radhika Merchant as well as Ratan N Tata, chairman emeritus of salt-to-software Tata Group, and Tata Sons chairperson N Chandrasekaran and wife Lalitha are in the list of invitees.
Business tycoon Gautam Adani is there too as is mining mogul Anil Agarwal.
Hinduja group's Ashok Hinduja, Wipro's Azim Premji, Nusli Wadia of Bombay Dyeing, Torrent group founder and chairperson Sudhir Mehta, GMR Group’s G M R Rao, and real estate baron Niranjan Hiranandani have also been invited.
Other prominent industrialists invited include Aditya Birla Group chairperson Kumar Mangalam Birla and his wife Nirja, Piramal Group’s Ajay Piramal, Mahindra and Mahindra's Anand Mahindra and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) CEO K Krithivasan. Jindal Steel & Powerhead Naveen Jindal, Kotak Mahindra Bank founder Uday Kotak, and Infosys co-founders N R Narayana Murthy and his wife Sudha Murthy. Infosys head Nandan Nilekani and company co-founder TV Mohandas Pai are also on the list.
ISRO chairperson S Somnath, Delhi Metro principal advisor E Sreedharan, and NITI member V K Saraswat are invited too.
It is not clear how many of them will actually attend the ceremony.
While some on the list may fly in private jets on January 22, others are likely to take regular flights to reach a day earlier and stay overnight either in Ayodhya or nearby cities like Lucknow.