Bhubaneshwar: Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik on Tuesday said he has created a replica of Ram temple on Puri beach, on the eve of its ground-breaking ceremony in Ayodhya.

Pattnaik said he was keen to create a sand sculpture of the temple at Ayodhya during ‘bhoomi pujan’ but had to do it on Puri beach because of an outbreak of COVID-19.

“In fact, I visited Ayodhya last year and conducted a study for the purpose. However, I had to change my plans due to the pandemic,” he said.

The artist said he has created a five-feet tall replica of the temple on the beach for which he used about four tonnes of sand.

It took around five hours to create this sculpture.

“We are very happy that after a long wait, the temple is going to be constructed. It is a historic day for us,” said Pattnaik.

The August 5 ceremony will mark the beginning of the construction of Ram temple after a decades-long title suit over the site in Ayodhya was settled by the Supreme Court last November.

Recipient of many awards, Pattnaik has participated in more than 60 international sand art competitions across the world and won a number of prizes for the country.

Ayodhya is all geared up to witness a historical moment as Prime Minister Narendra will lay the foundation stone during Bhoomi Pujan in Ayodhya. Millions of people across the country are waiting with bated breath for the construction of Ram Temple to begin.

A 40-kg silver brick, which will symbolize the beginning of the construction - is at the heart of today's ceremonies.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and 50 VIPs including Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath will attend a ground-breaking ceremony of a temple to Lord Ram at Ayodhya today.

The temple town was lit up in resplendent purple and green last evening.