The sacred and ancient city of Ayodgya in India has played host to the largest attempted display of oil lamps.
The glowing spectacle was organised the Government of Uttar Pradesh’s Department of Tourism and Dr. Rammanohar Lohiya Avadh University in honour of Diwali, aka the festival of lights, with a final total of 301,152 lamps, more than double that of the previous record.
The festival of Diwali or Deepavali is held in honour of Lakshmi, Indian goddess of wealth and prosperity. It is one of the most popular festivals of Hinduism and celebrated over five days in which food and gifts are exchanged, everyone wears their finest clothes and all buildings - not just family homes - are illuminated.
The ceremonial use of light in the festivities is symbolic of the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.
The Uttar Pradesh State Government wanted to attempt to the record in the city of Ayodhya as it is the birth place of Lord Ram or Rama, who is one of the seven and most popular avatars of the “preserver and protector” God, Vishnu.
In Hindu iconography Vishnu generally appears with a light or dark blue complexion and four arms.
Citizens and government employees joined forces in the arrangement of the lamps which they did on the banks of river Sarayu which flows through the centre of the city.
The combined effect of water and light was dazzling. The festival is celebrated every autumn in the northern hemisphere and every spring in the southern hemisphere.