Tens of thousands of pious Hindus are thronging the small town of Ayodhya in a bid to catch a glimpse of the much-anticipated Ram idol in the new temple.
The temple doesn’t open to the public until Tuesday but it is expected to draw vast crowds once that happens.
Among those who made the journey is 90-year-old Urmila Chandravanshi, who has traveled more than 700 kilometers from the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh.
Clapping and chanting “victory to Lord Ram,” she said she was thrilled to be in Ayodhya and credits Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the opening of the temple.
“I have come here to seek blessings from Lord Ram and Sita, I am very happy today,” she said.
Saffron flags are flying high and marigold flowers adorn building entrances as groups make their way through the streets of the ancient town.
Dasharath Singh Rajput, who has also traveled from Chhattisgarh, applauded Modi for undertaking his 11-day religious ritual.
Dressed in a large coat with a saffron shawl draped around his neck, a color associated with Hinduism, he praised Modi for his politics.
“This temple is all thanks to the Prime Minster and Yogi (Uttar Pradesh chief minister, Yogi Adityanath). I give credit to the prime minister because he is our chief. After the President, he is the one who does everything,” Rajput said.
Another devotee, Anupawananda Swami, 86, called the temple’s opening a “grand success” and said he was happy that Modi has been building temples around India.