With the consecration ceremony of the ‘Ram Mandir’ in Ayodhya scheduled to be held on January 22, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has begun an 11-day special ritual. Against this backdrop, a video of a large procession chanting ‘Jai Sri Ram’ is being shared on social media.

Several users on social media have shared the video with captions that claim that the video shows devotees from Nepal arriving in Ayodhya for the Ram Mandir inauguration.

X (formerly Twitter) premium subscriber Kashmiri Hindu (@BattaKashmiri) shared the above-mentioned video on January 12 with the following caption: “Not a ‘Brahmin’ Not a ‘Kshatriya’ Not a ‘Vaishya’ Not a ‘Shudra’
Just an Ocean of Hindus arriving from Nepal to Ayodhya for #RamMandirPranPratishta”. The tweet has received over 42,000 views and has been retweeted over 800 times. (Archive)

Several other Right Wing pages on X, such as Organiser Weekly, Kreatly.in, Tirupattur BJP district secretary Kavitha Suresh (@suravitha) shared the video with similar captions.

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On Facebook, the same video was shared by All India Radio News. The caption in Hindi said that a large number of people from Nepal had arrived at Ayodhya with gifts. The ‘About’ section of the page says it works under Prasar Bharati and “is one of the major broadcasting organizations in the world”. The post was, however, alter deleted.

Fact Check

We broke down the video into several key frames and ran a reverse image search on some of them. This led us to a tweet from July 9, 2023. The tweet was made by X user Viक़as (@VlKAS_PR0NAM0) and it carried the now-viral video. The caption said: “Bageshwar Dham Sarkar Kalash Yatra in Noida
Bhagwa All Around.. Jai Sree Ram”.

Taking a cue from the above tweet we ran a relevant keyword search which led us to a YouTube video posted by the channel ‘Bageshwar Dham Sarkar’. The channel belongs to godman Dhirendra Krishna Shastri. Bits of the viral video were posted by the channel last year on July 9. The video title in Hindi can be translated as: “Jaitpur Greater Noida Shobha Yatra and Kalash Yatra”.

The viral part appears between the 0:56 and 1:14-minute marks in the 2.11-minute-long video posted by the channel.

We also came across a news report by Navbharat Times from July 10, 2023, which carried a screen-grab from the viral video. The image carried a caption in Hindi that said: “A big Kalash Yatra was organized on Sunday before the celebration of Divya Darbar in Greater Noida. Thousands of people, especially women, participated enthusiastically in this. About 3 kilometre long Kalash Yatra was taken out.”

Another news report by ETV Bharat said that the rally or the Kalash Yatra was taken out before ‘Bhagwat Katha’ which was to be held by Dhirendra Krishna Shashtri between July 10 and July 16.

Hence, it is clear that the viral video is nearly a year old and is not related to the Ayodhya Ram Mandir consecration. The video is from July 2023 of a Kalash Yatra in Greater Noida by devotees of godman Dhirendra Krishna Shastri.

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