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Classical Indian instruments to be played in Ram temple complex to celebrate 'Pran Pratishtha'

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Ayodhya, Jan 15 (PTI) From Uttar Pradesh's Pakhawaj to Tamil Nadu's Mridang, different classical instruments from across the country will be played to celebrate the Ram Mandir consecration ceremony in Ayodhya, the temple trust said on Monday.

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Champat Rai, general secretary of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra, said musicians from different parts of India have been selected to perform during the grand function on January 22.

Asked about questions raised by many on the ceremony being held in an "incomplete temple", Rai said, "I will not respond to any criticism".

He said the 'Pran Pratishtha' at the temple will begin at 12:20 pm and is expected to be completed by 1 pm.

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The ceremony will take place in the august presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and president of the temple trust Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Rai said.

Seating arrangements have been made for around 8,000 people, he added.

The selected musicians will play different kinds of "vadya yantra" (musical instruments) of Indian tradition from their respective regions, the trust's general secretary said.

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The event will have bansuri and dholak artistes from Uttar Pradesh; veena from Karnataka; sundari from Maharashtra; alghoza from Punjab; mardala from Odisha; santoor from Madhya Pradesh; pung from Manipur; nagada and kali from Assam; tamboora from Chhattisgarh; pakhawaj from Bihar; shehani from Delhi; and ravanhatha from Rajasthan, he added.

Shrikhol and Sarod artistes from West Bengal; Ghatam from Andhra Pradesh, Sitar from Jharkhand; Nadaswarm and mridang from Tamil Nadu; and Hudka from Uttarakhand will also take part in the event.

They will play the instruments when ritualistic chants are not taking place or when someone is not addressing, Rai said.

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He also told reporters that representatives of L&T and Tata Consulting Engineer -- the two companies serving as project management consultants for the Ram temple -- will also attend the temple opening event.

There will be arrangements for refreshments and lunch for the guests and arrangements have been made for drinking water, toilet blocks, and shoe racks, among others, Rai said.

Over 7,000 people have been invited by the temple trust to the 'Pran Pratishtha'. The invitees include cricket legends Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli, Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, and billionaire industrialists Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani, according to official sources.

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From January 26 onwards, workers of RSS and VHP will start visiting the temple in batches, which would continue till February end, Rai said.

He added that gifts have come in for the occasion from Jankakpur in Nepal and different parts of India, including Sitmarhi in Bihar, in the last several days.

Stay arrangements for the invitees are being made at Karsewakpuram, Teerth Kshetra Puram, and rooms have also been booked in several hotels and dharmashalas, Rai said.

A total of 53 guests from 50 countries, including China, the US, Africa and Gulf nations will be coming for the temple event, the general secretary said. PTI KND RPA

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