New Delhi: The much-talked-about ‘Deepotsav’, the annual Diwali festival in Ayodhya, on Saturday entered the Guinness Book of Record with the illumination of 5.51 lakh earthen lamps on the occasion. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Governor Anandiben Patel on Saturday inaugurated the celebrations in Ayodhya.

The event made it to the Guinness World Records for ‘the largest display of oil lamps’. It has been achieved by Department of Tourism, Government of Uttar Pradesh and Dr Ram Manohar Lohiya Awadh University.

As part of the celebration, the Uttar Pradesh government also launch developmental schemes worth Rs 226 crore on the occasion. Apart from Patel and Adityanath, Deputy Speaker of Republic of Fiji Veena Bhatnagar and other ministers of the state also attend the mega event.

Part of the celebration a Ram Leela (drama) from seven countries was organised which was the main attraction on the occasion. Eleven tableaus of Lord Rama were showcased during the event.

Earlier in the day, talking about details of the programme, a state government spokesman told IANS: “Between 10 am to 12 noon on Saturday in Ayodhya, tableau procession of Lord Ram will be organised. This procession will start from Saket College and end at Ramkatha Park in which artists from various countries will take part. The Chief Minister will overview the procession between 3:45 pm and 4pm.”

He further stated that a symbolic descent of Lord Rama and Sita will take place. “Between 4:15 pm and 4:40 pm, various programs such as worship and symbolic coronation of Rama will happen,” he added.

Earlier today, artists from different states such as Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Rajasthan gathered ahead of the ‘Deepotsav’ celebrations.

“We have come here from Nepanagar in Madhya Pradesh. We are honoured to be a part of Deepotsav. We are performing Bhagoria folk dance here,” Mukesh Darbar, president of a Napanagar-based dance group, told ANI.

Dressed as Lord Ram, Lord Krishna and Lord Hanuman, artists were seen getting ready for the mega event. Preparations were going on in full swing by local authorities.

Not only this year, the event last year also entered the Guinness Book of Record for lighting as many as 3,01,152 earthen lamps, on the bank of River Sarayu. More than three lakh ‘diyas’ or ‘earthen lamps’ were lit on both sides of the banks of River Sarayu.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath along with South Korean First Lady Kim Jung-sook who was the chief guest on the occasion, were present during this feat.

“Students from various colleges of the Avadh University came to light up the diyas, along with other people to light them up. Many students of the university are also preparing colourful rangolis on Ramayana theme on the banks of the river,” a member of the event management team had said.