28 Dec 2023

Ayodhya experiences a digital rejuvenation as it steps into a new era of development

Ayodhya – the birthplace of Lord Ram and the site of deep spiritual significance for the countrymen is experiencing a digital rejuvenation and a technological leap. Ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the majestic Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir in the city, it has heralded its step into a new era of development.

Greenfield Township is Being Planned

Ayodhya is already in middle of infrastructure resurgence – the city is being developed as a Spiritual Centre, Global Tourism Hub and a sustainable Smart City. An upcoming Greenfield township is also being planned in the city which will include lodging facilities for devotees, space for Ashrams, Maths, Hotels, Bhavans of various states. 

A tourist facilitation centre, a world class museum will also be built.  Special attention is being devoted to development of infrastructure around the Saryu River and its ghats. 

Cruise operation on the Saryu River will also be made a regular feature. The city is becoming the point where traditions meet technological advancements, where the spiritual meets digital progress. 

Rise of Digital Transactions in Ayodhya

The city, today, has become a huge construction site. Roads are being widened and several infrastructure projects, including multi-layer car parks are under construction, temples are being renovated and the ghats on the Saryu River are being made better. This metamorphosis has sparked a surge in economic activities, awakening what was once a serene town. 

From the boatmen navigating the Saryu River to the vendors selling flowers and prasad at Hanuman Garhi, the landscape is witnessing a rapid shift towards digital payments. “Digital payments have made my life easy as there is no running around for cash change. The money goes directly into my son’s bank account via UPI, which is such a relief for us,” said Annu Manjhi, one of the 100-odd boatmen at the bank of Saryu River.

Shift towards digital transactions is palpable

The shift towards digital transactions is palpable across Ayodhya. Shri Ramdhan Yadav, a shopkeeper selling puja items along the riverbanks, seamlessly accepts payments via QR codes, making transactions smoother for both vendors and customers. He remembers one day when a customer gave a Rs 100 note for the puja items. “Kindly pay online as I don’t have change,” said the shopkeeper pointing to the QR code. The customer complied and left the shop with smile on his face.

Donations are effortlessly made through QR codes

Even at Kanak Bhawan during the evening aarti, donations are effortlessly made through QR codes at the counters, streamlining the process for devotees. At the Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir, contributions up to Rs 2,000 can be made physically, but anything beyond requires online payment, facilitated seamlessly through QR codes.

'Cash handling was a headache'

According to Mohd Rashid Khan, 40, who lives in Sadar Bazar area in Ayodhya Cantt, UPI has instilled in him a new confidence. “Cash handling was a headache as finding chutta (small change) was always a problem while buying daily stuff that needed small currency. Now with digital payments, that headache is gone and money reaches instantly and safely in my bank account,” said Khan, one of the beneficiaries of the government schemes.

As Ayodhya gears up for the grand opening of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi to the general public on January 23, 2023, the city stands not only infrastructurally but also digitally prepared to welcome pilgrims and tourists from across the globe. The convergence of physical comfort and spiritual solace promises to provide visitors with experiences transcending time, blending spirituality with technological convenience — a testament to Ayodhya’s extraordinary renaissance.

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