Highlights

  • 'Ram Lalla Virajman' was a litigant in Ramjanmbhoomi case
  • Old idol fought a 32-year-long legal battle
  • It will now be movable idol that will be placed in front of the new idol

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From 'divine appearance' to make-shift temple: journey of 'Ram Lalla Virajman'

The idol that 'miraculously appeared’ on the night of December 22, 1949, under the central dome of the undemolished Babri Mosque will now serve as an 'Utsav idol’ – an idol for festivals.  

From 'divine appearance' to make-shift temple: journey of 'Ram Lalla Virajman'

On the night of December 22, 1949, an idol of baby Ram ‘miraculously appeared’ or was placed under the central dome of the Babri mosque

While the believers called it a ‘divine occurrence’, police records note that a sadhu Abhay Ram Das placed the 9-inch idol inside the 16th Century Mughal structure.

But the incident marked a key moment in the Ram temple-Babri mosque dispute.

The idol ‘Ram Lalla Virajman’ stood there locked and isolated till 1986 when a court allowed public worship giving momentum to the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.

In 1989, the deity became the chief litigant in the Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid dispute and those representing him staked claim to what is believed to be his birth site.

The idol remained in a tent after the demolition of the mosque in 1992 till the Supreme Court ruled in its favour in 2019.

And then ‘Ram Lalla Virajman’, the idol that appeared under Babri mosque’s central mosque in 1949, became the the victor of India's longest property dispute.

In March 2020, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath relocated the ‘Ram Lalla Virajman’ to a make-shift temple.

Now with a 51-inch new idol taking its place as the presiding deity of Ayodhya, there are questions about Ram Lalla Virajman’s future but the temple’s chief priest Satyendra Das has said neglecting the old idol is inconceivable.

He said that the new Ram Lalla will be installed in the temple’s sanctum santorum and be the ‘achal’ or immovable idol. Ram Lalla Virajman will find a place right in front of that idol and serve as the ‘chal’ or movable idol. The priest said it will be the ‘utsav murti’ or festival idol for processions.


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