India gets festive ahead of grand temple event

Indians get in the festive mood

ahead of the Ram Temple ceremony

Location: Ayodhya

People lit earthen lamps

and covered the Saryu river banks

as part of the ‘Deepotsav' celebrations

(SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) AMRITSAR RESIDENT, MONIKA SHARMA, SAYING:

"We have made this string of earthen lamps because we are happy that Ram Temple construction is going to begin tomorrow. We also sang devotional songs and praised Lord Ram,

did fireworks, and distributed sweets. It was the dream of the whole country that a Ram Temple be built and now that dream is coming true."

People are celebrating the construction of a Hindu temple

on a site contested by Muslims for decades

but given to Hindus by the Supreme Court

Hindus believe it is the birthplace of Lord Ram

who is a physical incarnation of the god Vishnu

Video Transcript

MONIKA SHARMA: [HINDI SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: We have made this string of earthen lamps because we are happy that Ram Temple construction is going to begin tomorrow. We also sang devotional songs and praised Lord Ram, did fireworks, and distributed sweets. It was the dream of the whole country that a Ram Temple be built, and now that dream is coming true.