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Why Shivraj Singh Chouhan Will Not Attend Ram Temple Consecration And Visit Orchha

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Ayodhya is all set for the consecration ceremony of Lord Rama’s idol which will be held on January 22, 2024. Ultimately, the idol of Lord Rama will be enshrined in the sanctum sanctorum of the newly constructed grand Ram temple. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior BJP leaders will be in Ayodhya on January 22, Former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan will perform bhajans in the Ram temple in Orchha of the state.

The Ram temple in Orchha, located in the Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh, has a special connection with Ayodhya. The story of the Ram temple in Orchha, situated approximately 450 kilometres away from Ayodhya, is nearly 600 years old. According to the legend, in the 16th century, Maharani Kunwari Ganesh, the queen of Bundela ruler Madhukar Shah of Orchha, brought the idol of Rama from Ayodhya to Orchha. However, there are two prevalent narratives regarding the transportation of Lord Ram to Orchha.

According to mythological tales, Madhukar Shah, the ruler of Orchha, was a devotee of Lord Krishna, while his queen Kunwari Ganesh was a devotee of Lord Ram. This difference in devotion often led to disputes between them. Once, when Madhukar Shah suggested a trip to Vrindavan, the queen politely declined and insisted on going to Ayodhya instead. In response, the king challenged her to bring Lord Rama from Ayodhya to Orchha if she truly believed in his existence.

Subsequently, Maharani Kunwari visited Ayodhya and underwent rigorous penance for 21 days. However, when Lord Rama did not manifest, she jumped into the Sarayu River. It is said that upon witnessing the queen’s devotion, Lord Rama appeared in the river and sat in her lap. The queen then pleaded with Rama to come to Orchha from Ayodhya. Following this, Lord Rama arrived in Orchha and manifested in the queen’s kitchen.

Another popular belief suggests that during the 16th century, when foreign invaders were destroying temples and idols in India, saints of Ayodhya submerged the idol of Lord Rama in the birthplace itself, burying it in the sand. Maharani Kunwari Ganesh brought this idol to Orchha. Madhukar Shah, being a king who defied Akbar in the court, was seen as a protector of Hinduism. Observing his commitment to Hinduism, Ayodhya’s saints trusted that the idol of Lord Rama would be safe in Orchha. Thus, they entrusted the idol to Maharani Kunwari Ganesh. This belief aligns with the ongoing assertion that the original idol of Lord Rama’s birthplace is enshrined in the Ram Raja temple in Orchha.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan had also promised to renovate the Orchha temple. In September last year, as then CM of Madhya Pradesh, Chouhan had laid the foundation of the Lord Ram Raja temple corridor or ‘Shri Ram Raja Lok. He said that the Ram Raja Lok would be built on 12 acres, which would have a grand entrance and Lord Shri Ram’s childhood and Uttarkand would also be depicted in this unique temple.

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