Town breaks record with Di­wali lamps

Simcoe Reformer - Times-Reformer - - ENTERTAINMENT - BISWAJEET BANERJEE

AY­O­D­HYA, In­dia — The north­ern In­dian city of Ay­o­d­hya broke a Guin­ness World Record on Tues­day by light­ing 300,150 earthen lamps and keep­ing them burn­ing for at least 45 min­utes on the banks of the river Saryu as part of the annual cel­e­bra­tion of Di­wali, the Hindu fes­ti­val of lights.

South Korean first lady Kim Jung­sook at­tended the record-break­ing event after meet­ing with Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi dur­ing a four-day visit to In­dia.

Her pres­ence was sig­nif­i­cant be­cause of a Korean leg­end that a princess from Ay­o­d­hya trav­elled to Korea and mar­ried a king, be­com­ing a Korean queen in the year AD 48.

Yogi Adityanath, chief min­is­ter of the state of Ut­tar Pradesh, was given a cer­tifi­cate cer­ti­fy­ing the record by Guin­ness of­fi­cials who had mon­i­tored the at­tempt with drone cam­eras.

As dusk fell in Ay­o­d­hya, where Hin­dus be­lieve the god Lord Ram was born and where he re­turned after 14 years in ex­ile, vol­un­teers lit lamps, called diyas, snaking along the river, through lanes and at houses.

A sim­i­lar at­tempt failed to break the record last year, when strong winds blew over many of the lamps. Tues­day’s feat broke a record from 2016, when 150,009 lamps were lit.

Purn­ima Shukla, a Saket De­gree Col­lege student, was among 5,000 vol­un­teers in­volved in the cer­e­mony.

“Last time we missed it by a whis­per but this time we en­sured that all the lamps were aglow. Oil was poured fre­quently, and we used sheets to block wind where it was very windy,” she said.

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