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On August 5, special velvet dress for Ram Lalla, with nine gems stitched in golden thread

In a spectacular display of talent, the dress for the Ram Lalla deity will be handcrafted by brothers Shankarlal and Bhagwatlal 'Pahaadhi', who have been stitching clothes for the infant god for the past three and a half decades and have crafted their entire careers around their devotion to the temple city's resident deity.

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On August 5, special velvet dress for Ram Lalla, with nine gems stitched in golden thread
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The clock is ticking, and the day gets closer to the August 5 mega-event when the decades-old contention in the holy land of Ayodhya will reach its crucible with the foundation stone being laid for the construction of the Ram Janmabhoomi temple. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will himself be present at the event.

In a spectacular display of talent, the dress for the Ram Lalla deity will be handcrafted by brothers Shankarlal and Bhagwatlal 'Pahaadhi', who have been stitching clothes for the infant god for the past three and a half decades and have crafted their entire careers around their devotion to the temple city's resident deity.

August 5 is indeed set to be a markedly special date in the lives of the 'Pahaadhi' brothers, whose careers have culminated into this moment.

A report by news agency PTI elaborated on the lives of the two brothers and how they feel ahead of the 'Bhoomi Pujan' ceremony of the Ram Temple on August 5.

"My father late Babulal started stitching the clothes of Ram Lalla in 1985. He used to carry our sewing machine to the Ramjanmabhoomi and stitch the clothes with me and my elder brother in tow," Shankarlal, 54, told PTI on Monday.

Operating from their shop named after their late father Babulal and located in the city's Badhi Kutiyaa area, the brothers stitch clothes for only deities and seers.

"The three of us used to make the clothes of Lord Ram. The dresses were made and stitched virtually in front of the deity. Since then, our work is continuing," Shankarlal said, adding that for the August 5 event, two sets of dresses are being made - one is green and the other is orange.

"The clothes are made using soft material such as 'makhmal' (velvet). After all, they are for Ram Lalla who is a child. The green dress has been made keeping in mind the day-specific colour, while orange is considered auspicious," he said.

The green dress will be worn first on Wednesday, and the orange dress will be worn by the deity later.

"A day-specific colour scheme is followed for the dresses worn by Lord Ram. On Monday the dress is white, on Tuesday it is red, while on Wednesday it is the turn of the green dress for the Lord," Shankarlal said, adding details about the dress, such as the fact that the special dress for the ceremony has nine gems stitched in golden thread.

 "There is grandeur in the clothes of the Lord as well," he said.

"Earlier, the 11-metre-long fabric was required to make the dress, but now, we need about 17 meters of cloth. Once the grand temple is built, I do not know how much cloth will be required to make one set of dresses for Lord Ram and others," Shankarlal said.

At present, Shankarlal is assisted by his nephews Pawan Kumar, Sanjay Kumar, and Shravan Kumar. "My son Rajveer is in class 7. As soon as he clears class 8, he will join me," he said.

Shankarlal's elder brother Bhagwatlal 'Pahaadhi' attributed their stitching expertise to God. "The entire family is involved in this. Whatever qualities have been given by God, we are making dresses using those qualities only. It is He who is getting them made by us, as He gets everything done."

Interestingly, the brother duo and their family members depend on other tailors for their own apparel.

"We only make clothes for Lord Ram and some clothes for seers. We do not accept any orders from the common people. We even do not make our own clothes. Our own clothes are made using the services and expertise of other tailors," Shankarlal said.

"I feel overwhelmed that I was born in Ayodhya and got an opportunity to serve Ram Lalla. What could give more happiness than this?" he asked.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday arrived in Ayodhya to take stock of the preparations ahead of the foundation stone-laying ceremony of Ram Temple on August 5. The rituals preceding the 'Bhoomi Pujan' of the Ram temple began here on Monday with an elaborate 'Gauri Ganesh' puja. 

Yogi Adityanath expressed his joy on Twitter and quoted a few lines from Ramcharitmanas adding that the wait for many centuries is now over.

"All devotees should light a lamp at home. Read Sri Ramacharitmanas. Everyone will receive the blessings of Lord Shri Ram," wrote the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister. He also expressed that the souls of Mahant Digvijaynath Maharaj and Mahant Avedyanath Maharaj must be the feeling immense satisfaction as they had devoted their entire lives for the establishment of Shri Ram Temple in Avadhpuri.

(With PTI inputs)

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