India’s new Rama temple saw half a million visitors on its first day open to the public

Ram Mandir Ayodhya Janma Bhoomi

Ayodhya, India CNN — Half a million people entered the new Ram Mandir on Tuesday, a controversial Hindu temple in the holy town of Ayodhya that is built on the ruins of a destroyed 16th century mosque.

Huge crowds of devotees queued outside the temple in the early hours of the morning carrying saffron flags and religious offerings on the first day the large complex was open to the public.

A day earlier Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a statue of Lord Ram, one of Hinduism’s most revered deities, in the building’s inner sanctum in a ceremony widely seen as a landmark departure from India’s secular foundations post-independence.

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