The construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya is set to begin Wednesday when the first bricks will be laid for its foundation, according to a spokesperson for the head of the temple trust.
The event will be marked by prayers to Lord Shiva at the Kuber Tila shrine on the Ram Janmabhoomi site, allocated for the temple in a historic Supreme Court verdict last November.
The 'rudrabhishek' ritual follows the tradition set by Lord Ram, who prayed to Shiva before launching an attack on Lanka, said Mahant Kamal Nayan Das, spokesperson for the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust head Mahant Nritya Gopal Das.
The work of laying the foundation of the temple will begin after these special prayers.
The prayers will be performed by Kamal Nayan Das and other priests on behalf of Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, who visited the site recently. The ritual will begin around 8 am.
"This religious ceremony will last for at least two hours and after that the construction of the Ram Mandir will start with the laying of the foundation of the mandir structure," Kamal Nayan Das said.
In March, the Ram Lalla deity was ceremoniously moved to a new spot from the makeshift temple at the site, clearing the way for the construction of the temple.
On May 11, earth-moving machinery was deployed for levelling the site.
The 16th-century Babri mosque that stood on the disputed site in Ayodhya was demolished in 1992 by kar sevaks claiming that originally there was a Ram temple at the same spot.
In its verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute, the Supreme Court had ruled in favour of construction of a temple at the site.
It also ordered that an alternative five-acre plot must be found within Ayodhya for a mosque.
A separate trial in the Babri mosque demolition case is continuing in a special court in Lucknow.