New York City witnessed the largest high-definition digital display of Lord Ram and proposed temple at Ayodhya on Broadway.
The digital display of Lord Ram is said to be one of the most expensive digital billboards of the Hindu deity at Times Square. It lit up at 10 am will continue till 10 pm to celebrate the laying of the temple''s foundation stone by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ayodhya.
Multiple billboards and trucks have been leased on Times Square that are being used to beam the words ''Jai Shri Ram'', along with images of Lord Ram and of the temple.
Indian-Americans, who bought the ad space at America''s most glitzy, flashing, bustling advertising mecca Times Square, beamed the portraits at a cost of course. The exact cost of each banner is not known but runs into thousands of dollars for a day.
"This is one in mankind event and this is for Lord Ram. The cost is of no consequence at all," Jagdish Sewhani, President of the American India Public Affairs Committee, told ANI.
"It shows how successful Indians are in America that our Ram Temple and the Tricolour are on the most iconic screen in the world. It is a proud moment for India and Indians," he said.
The portrait stands eight stories tall and is nearly as big as a football field, spanning almost an entire block on Broadway -- the centre of the Times Square. Nearly 24 million LED pixels, each containing tiny red, blue and green lights make up the display, giving it higher resolution than even the best of today''s top-of-the-line television sets.
"Just imagine 17,000 sq feet, as big as 30 one-bedroom flats in one space. That is how gigantic this display is," Sewhani said.
Just five days ago, Hindu leaders from New York and New Jersey decided to put this event together. Hundreds of community members and volunteers worked round the clock to collects funds and organise the event.
"This is really exciting as I am living away from home. It has been a few years. You see something like this in New York City is very exciting. I know I was here a few years ago when Modiji had come to Madison Square Garden and there was a great scene here. People gathered, celebrated and cheered... I am excited to see the photo on the billboard," Ruchi, a spectator, told ANI.
"I have been living here for the past 10 years. It is always exciting to come to Times Square in New York. It is such a great place, it has such kind of displays. I always come here when there are these kinds of events. They help you feel patriotic and connected to your roots," Siddhi Thakar, another spectator, said.
The day-long celebrations commenced with the lighting of earthen lamps at Times Square.
Dressed in traditional attire, many Indians of Indian heritage will travel from places near and far to celebrate the day with sweets and savouries. (ANI)