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HomeFact CheckFact Check: Video Of Durga Puja Pandal In Kolkata Goes Viral As...

Fact Check: Video Of Durga Puja Pandal In Kolkata Goes Viral As From Ram Mandir Ayodhya

Authors

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim
A video showing a view of the Ram temple in Ayodhya at night.

Fact
False. This is not a video of the Ram Mandir, Ayodhya, but the 2023 Durga Puja pandal at Santosh Mitra Square in Kolkata.

Ahead of the much anticipated consecration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, a 31-second video allegedly showing a night time view of the Ram Mandir is being widely shared.

The video post can be seen here.

The same video has been posted by several YouTube users claiming to be from Ayodhya. Some of those can be seen here, here and here.

Some X users also posted the video with the caption ‘Jai Shri Ram’. You can see that by clicking here.

Fact Check

We took a screengrab of the video and conducted a Google reverse image search, which took us to many news reports and YouTube pages carrying the same video. One such report by the  Hindustan Times on 18 October carried the screengrab of the video and revealed that it was taken at the Durga Puja Mandap in Santosh Mitra Square in Kolkata.

Our research revealed that last year, the Santosh Mitra Square Durga Puja Committee built a Puja pavilion modeled on the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. The inauguration of the pavilion was attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

We also found some more videos on Santosh Mitra Square 2023 Durga Puja pandal from YouTube. We found many similarities in the key frames of these videos  and the video that has gone viral, such as the colorful lighting in the pandal, the lights on the surrounding houses, the white barricades of the Kolkata Police confirming that the video was indeed from the Durga Puja pandal at Santosh Mitra Square in 2023.

In addition, a video taken from another angle of the same Puja Pandal in Kolkata is also going viral in the name of the Ram temple. That can be seen here.

Conclusion

Thus, we find that the viral video is not from Ayodhya, but from Kolkata, and is not recent. The video shows the Santosh Mitra Square Puja pandal built on the model of the Ram Mandir in Kolkata for Durga Puja in 2023.

Result: False 

Our Sources:
YouTube video
Report published by Hindustan Times, 18 October 2023


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Authors

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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