Over 500 exquisitely gift baskets were sent to Ayodhya from Nepal’s Janakpur city -- believed to be the birthplace of Sita -- ahead of the inauguration of the Ram Mandir on January 22.

The Mahantha of Janaki Temple of Janakpur, Ram Roshan Das handed over the exquisitely decorated souvenirs to the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirtha Trust General Secretary Champat Ray.

Lord Ram, according to Ramayana, traveled to Ayodhya and married Sita -- whose second name is Janaki.

The souvenirs included gold-silver articles, various kinds of sweet dishes, clothes, fruits, cosmetics, furniture among others. These gifts and souvenirs were packed in small buckets crafted with bamboo and wrapped in colorful clothes.

“Sita is our daughter and since Janakpur is her parental home, it is our duty to send her all necessary stuff required for a new home,” Janakpur Mayor Manoj Shah said.

Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirtha Trust General Secretary Champat Ray had expressed happiness over receiving the souvenir presented on behalf of Sita’s birthplace.

The souvenirs and gifts were packed in two trucks which were specially decorated and left for Ayodhya from Janakpur on Thursday.

Earlier, two big Shaligrams (a fossilised stone or ammonite collected from the riverbed of the Kali Gandaki, a tributary of the Gandaki River in Nepal which is also considered a form of Vishnu) were also sent from Nepal to Ayodhya.

“As per the tradition, we do not visit our daughter's home empty handed. We went to Ayodhya with five hundred different decorated gifts which will fulfill the requirements of a new home,” Mahantha of Janaki Temple of Janakpur Ram Roshan Das told media persons in Nepal after returning from Ayodhya.

He said that these gifts represent the sentiments of residents of Janakpur.

“We received a rousing welcome at different places in Nepal and India. The major attraction of the souvenir was Dhanush (bow) and Kharau (an ancient kind of sandal) made of silver including necklace, ring, anklets, Mangal Sutra, silver plate, glass, spoon among others,” he said.

He said that different kinds of sweet dishes, local Mithila food items, fruits, nuts, grains among other household items were also part of these souvenirs.

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