IANS

The first look of the new idol of Lord Ram, with the face covered with a white cloth, has been revealed.

The 51-inch idol has been sculpted by Mysuru-based artist Arun Yogiraj.

The new idol of Lord Ram was placed inside Ayodhya's Ram Janmabhoomi temple on Thursday, days ahead of the grand consecration ceremony on January 22.

The first photo of the idol -- made in black stone -- depicts the deity as a five-year-old child in a standing posture.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the January 22 'Pran Pratishtha' or consecration ceremony at the Ram temple, which is expected to be opened to the public the next day.

'Pran Pratishtha' means imbibing the idol with divine consciousness and is a must for every idol that is worshipped in a temple.

The Prime Minister has urged the public not to visit Ayodhya on January 22 as "we would not like to cause any problems to Lord Ram," adding that everyone can come from January 23.

More than 11,000 guests have been invited by the temple trust and they include cricket legends Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli, Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan.

The ceremony will also be attended by all the trustees of the temple trust, seers of about 150 sects and more than 500 people associated with the construction of the temple, who have been named the "Engineer Group".

Rituals leading to the consecration ceremony have already begun at the temple, constructed at what many devout believe marks the spot where Lord Ram was born.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi is also strictly following a set of rules and rituals ahead of participation in the grand event, sources said.

Sources added that the Prime Minister is sleeping on the floor with only a blanket and has been only drinking coconut water.

(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by Odishatv.in staff)

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