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Ram Temple at Ayodhya will be inaugurated on 22 Jan 2024. It is spurring an unprecedented economic boom in Ayodhya & much of India.

Ram Temple, Spiritual Tourism & Mandir Economy

Temple & the economic transformation: The construction of Ram Mandir with an investment of INR 18 billion is not only a significant religious project, it will catalyse the economic transformation of Ayodhya. The city has a new airport & a renovated railway station, new hotels, more tourists, new jobs & massive sale of handicrafts. Anticipated religious tourism surge has triggered large infrastructural developments & investments.

Spiritual merchandise sales up: Temple frenzy has boosted spiritual merchandise sales – online & offline. T-shirts, flags (for homes, bikes & cars) & merchandise printed with “Jai Shree Ram” are flying off the shelves & trending on leading e-com sites. Small flag (inscribed with Jai Shree Ram) & a stick, which cost Rs 18 few days back now sell for Rs 80 (= 1 US$). Temporary stalls outside local temples are witnessing robust sales.

India’s Temple Economy poised to grow: India has nearly 5 million temples with a microeconomy of their own. They employ & feed nearly 50 million people, Kishore Biyani estimates. Ayodhya is not the only one – Kashi in UP to Puri in Odisha, Mahakal near Ujjain in MP – famous temple towns, are under transformation & likely to boost their local economy.

Central Government Initiatives: The Central Government’s Pilgrimage Rejuvenation & Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) scheme, coupled with state government initiatives is set to play a role in developing the spiritual travel industry in India, as per an SBI research report. The economic impact is expected to be significant. UP with its numerous tourist attractions – River Ganges, Taj Mahal, Kashi & Ayodhya – has experienced an upswing in spiritual tourism.

UP Government initiatives along with the newly built Ram Temple in Ayodhya could result in additional tax revenues of Rs 25,000 Crores (US$ 3 billion) in FY 2025 due to increased visitors. UP Government allocates Rs 30.57 bn for 187 projects, anticipating 100,000 daily tourists.

Unprecedented Security

Ayodhya is under a security blanket ahead of the grand inauguration. Apart from PM Modi, the Governor & CM of UP, many leaders & dignitaries have been invited. New-age, state-of-the art technology has been used for elaborate security arrangements, as per UP Police.

Multi-layered security, sealing of district border, increased surveillance on Nepal border, deployment of over 20,000 personnel from central & state agencies (SPG, NSG, UPSTF, PAC & IB), armoured cars, AI surveillance, drones & counter-drone systems, security check posts, command centres & emergency response measures are in place. Ram Temple has a three-layered security – CRPF in the main temple & 1,400 personnel from UP Police & PAC in the ‘Red Zone’ just outside the temple.

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