An image of an under-construction site is viral on social media with captions falsely linking it to the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
BOOM found that the viral image is that of ongoing construction works at the Kashi Vishwanath corridor project site in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. BOOM also contacted a member of Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra, the trust constituted to look after the construction and management of the temple in Ayodhya, who confirmed to us that the construction work has just begun and the site has no structure as of now.
The foundation stone laying ceremony of the Ram temple took place in Ayodhya on August 5 this year.
The Hindi captions shared with the post translates to 'First photo of the Ram temple being constructed at Ayodhya. Sincerely chant jay shri Ram once'.
(Hindi: अयोध्या प्रभु श्री राम जी की मंदिर निर्माण का पहला तस्वीर है। तो एक बार सच्चे दिल से आप #जय_श्री_राम बोल दे।)
The same set of images is viral on Twitter as well.
BOOM did a reverse image search on the viral picture and found several news reports carrying the same photo.
An article published in Hindustan Times on October 30, 2020 uses the exact same image stating that the picture shows the main complex of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple under construction. The original picture has been credited to HT photo.
The HT report further states that the 'construction work to complete the ambitious Kashi Vishwanath (KV) corridor project by August next year is in progress on a war footing' and mentions that the project is aimed at expansion and beautification of the Kashi Vishwanath temple.
We then contacted Anil Mishra, a member of the Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra. "The works as Ram temple site is going on but till now only foundation has been dug up," Mishra told BOOM.
We also reached out to a local reporter of Punjab Kesari, Abhishek Sawant, who told BOOM that as of now only drilling works are going on at the Ram temple construction site where pillars will be erected. "Temple construction will take time," Sawant told BOOM.
When asked about the viral photographs, Sawant said, "No one except government and members of the Ram temple trust are allowed inside the site. Media gets all the related information from the government."
BOOM also checked the official Twitter handle of the Temple trust and found no such photo on its timeline.
A tweet related to the Temple construction work does mention about shifting of carved stones from the workshop to the temple premises but does not share any image similar to the viral picture.
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