Viral Ram Mandir bhoomi pujan preparation video is an old one from Hyderabad

Screengrab from the viral video that people are wrongly attributing to Ayodhya, while it is from Hyderabad

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New Delhi: Four days ahead of the bhoomi pujan or ground-laying ceremony for the Ram temple in Ayodhya, a video allegedly of the preparations underway at the site went viral Saturday.

The video shows a brightly lit pandal with rows of lamps and a separate enclosure with flowers and space for an idol, where decoration work is underway.

The video has been shared widely on Twitter and Facebook. News websites like Asianet News have also circulated the video as an inside peak into the work going on in Ayodhya.

Fact check

A closer look at the video shows that it was first uploaded on 16 January 2020 by a Telugu portal called One Liner. The description, in Telugu, says that the video is from Kolkata where a man made a village with idols.

The video description also reads, “Even if we cannot go there, let’s enjoy the video.” Workers are also found to be speaking in Bengali in the video. Further, the workers in the video are not wearing face masks, indicating that the video is from before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The original video, however, is of the Ranganath Swamy Temple in Hyderabad and was first uploaded on 6 January 2020 by a YouTube user. A portion of this video was was later uploaded by the portal One Liner and wrongly attributed to Kolkata.

Prime Minister Modi will attend the Ram temple bhoomi pujan on 5 August, which will begin the construction of the much-contested place of worship. The temple trust has set a 2024 deadline for completion of the project.

Also read: Video of Indians in Spain celebrating Ram Mandir construction is from 2018


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