1,200 Ram temples in US: Ramayan encyclopedia traces deity’s legacy globally

LUCKNOW: There are around 1,200 temples of Lord Ram in the United States, while a sizeable part of the economy in countries like Thailand and Malaysia thrives on Ramlilas and related paraphernalia like masks, dresses, props and stage set up.
These findings have come up during data collection for the state government’s ‘Encyclopedia of Ramayan’ project which has started with video conferencing of experts from Ayodhya, Mumbai, Raipur, Varanasi, Bhopal and Bengaluru.
Video conferencing sessions are being held in different geographical regions so that idols, temples, literature, paintings, Ramlilas and even ideologies related to Lord Ram and Ramayan can be recorded.
Apart from India, experts from the US, UK, Russia, Indonesia, Poland, Malaysia and other countries are also participating in the project.
Director, Ayodhya Shodh Sansthan, YP Singh said: “In the session that we have planned for Amritsar, we may also have participants from Pakistan.”
Ayodhya Shodh Sansthan will document every “tangible and intangible” legacy of Ramayan from world over in the encyclopedia which would run into 100 volumes.
The government’s objective is to present to a younger generation a well-researched and documented facts on Ram and Ramayan and to form a ‘Group of Ramayan’ countries for “soft power diplomacy”.
The encyclopedia would document the presence of Ram, as found in various countries, through varied art forms, ideologies, folklores and traditions after thorough verification. The project will take five years to complete.
It will be published in various languages for a global readership.
Ayodhya Shodh Sansthan will also seek assistance from the ministries of culture, external affairs and human resource development for the project.

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