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This Is How Guinness Record for the Largest Display Of Oil Lamps Was Created

Is lighting 6.6 lakh oil lamps at one place, at one moment, humanely possible? IAS officer Mukesh Meshram made it possible through sheer hard work and immaculate planning.

The largest oil lamp lighting the world has ever seen, at the birthplace of Lord Ram and Laxman, Ayodhya’s entry into the Guinness Book of World Records wouldn’t have arguably been possible without IAS officer of the 1995 batch, U.P. cadre, Mr. Mukesh Meshram. He told Indian Masterminds, about what all went to making the grand event a stupendous success.

Getting 6.5 lakh earthen lights (diyas), mustard oil and cotton batti for them was not easy. But, more difficult was how to ensure that all diyas were lit simultaneously to create a beautiful spectacle.

Ayodhya lit up beautifully when the event took place

PLANNING TO THE LAST DETAIL

Mr. Meshram decided to invite students who wished to volunteer for the project. About 10,000 students from Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University and its affiliated colleges were roped in the event. “There were various rounds of training and after that, the ghats of Sarayu River were cleaned and prepared for the event,” Mr. Meshram told Indian Masterminds.

River bank was cleaned and mapped for the event

Riverbanks were carefully mapped and marked using chalk powder wherever the diyas had to be placed. The distance had to be exact and all diyas had to be placed symmetrically. “We divided the students into groups and allotted spaces where they were told to place the diyas. This took us three to four days” Mr. Meshram says.

Students volunteered to take part in the record breaking event

The event took place on November 13th, 2020 to mark Chhoti Deepawali. Maintaining social distance was a real challenge. Around 20,000 liters of mustard oil was used. They poured the oil from cans in diyas and kept them ready for the lighting.

Digital light and fireworks also took place

“We had to light all diyas within half an hour. So, all the volunteers stood at different points and all of them lit diyas simultaneously. Once all the diyas were lit, everybody had to leave the space so that drone cameras could record the whole event without any disturbances” he said.

Diyas were laid out in beautiful formations

GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS

Nowhere in the world so many oil lamps, were lit at one place and at one moment. This why the event got a place in the prestigious Guinness book of World Records! The officials of Guinness Book were requested to come along with their team and witness the event.

“They inspected the arrangements and preparation. They also analyzed the location, the number of people involved; the number of diyas placed; objective of the event and its integrity. They went into facts and details and ultimately using drone cameras recorded the entire event,” Mr. Meshram said.

They crossed their own target and broke the record

Originally, the administration had planned 5.51 lakh diyas but the administration beat its own target by lighting up 6, 06,569 oil lamps. “Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath himself was present on the venue along with the Governor, Mrs Anandiben Patel. Immediately after the counting, the result was declared online by Guinness Book people, then and there” he told Indian Masterminds.

Guinness Book official congratulating Ayodhya and its administration

EMPLOYMENT GENERATED

This Diwali was a little special for the potters of Eastern Uttar Pradesh as they had to make lakhs of diyas for the event. “We contacted almost all potters of nearby districts like Ayodhya, Ambedkar Nagar, Bahraich, Gonda, Basti. They got employment and the event revived our old culture of diyas at a time when Chinese lights were gaining more currency,” he says.

Numerous potters gained employment due to the event

THE CHALLENGES

The biggest challenge that day was nature itself! It was a windy night and there was danger of diyas blowing out due to the wind. Even the dogs on the bank had to be kept out, lest they should create havoc between the lamps. “We had to create barricading and protect the location from common public. We had made arranged for fire brigade, medical teams and ambulances and took all precautions” says Mr. Meshram.

TV actors portraying roles of Gods, also took part in the event

Everyone connected with the event heaved a big sigh of relief after the event passed off successfully. And congratulations followed.

It was a mesmerizing event

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