Ayodhya: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath unveiled a seven-foot tall statue of Lord Rama at the 'Shodh Sansthan' museum in Ayodhya.

This statue is fashioned out of a single rosewood block and was shipped from Karnataka. Uttar Pradesh purchased the Kodanda Rama statue from Karnataka for Rs 35 lakh. The statue of Rama showcases his quiver of arrows and his bow.

Adityanath had two years ago ordered the state tourism department to build a 221-metre bronze statue of Ram at Ayodhya which, when completed, would be the tallest statue in the world.

The state tourism department is acquiring land for the project and has issued notices to 222 people from whom 28 hectares are to be acquired on Ayodhya town’s fringes.

Friday’s unveiling was held to coincide with the 81st birthday of Nritya Gopal Das, chairperson of the Ram Janmabhomi Nyas, a wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

Das is the oldest living leader of the VHP, of which Adityanath too is a member by virtue of being the head of the Gorakhnath temple. Adityanath later attended Das's birthday celebrations at the Maniram Chhawani temple.

Yogi Adityanath’s visit to Ayodhya was announced a day after the Shiv Sena's media cell stated on June 5 that the party's chief, Uddhav Thackeray will visit Ayodhya later this month.

While the chief minister was in Ayodhya, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Union minister of state for rural development, arrived in Chitrakoot, 300 km south of Lucknow. According to the Ramayan, Ram had spent a part of his 14-year exile in Chitrakoot.

Jyoti prayed at the Kamadgiri temple, dedicated to Ram, and later told reporters the Ram temple in Ayodhya would soon be a reality.