Shalini S SHARMA
HOUSE IS THE HIGH POINT OF ONE’S ambition with a significant portion of one’s funds, energy and resources going into its construction. Imagine, then, the scale and the magnificence of the house which will be a temple for the rest of the world – the house of Lord Shri Ram in Ayodhya!
Going to be God’s own abode, the construction of this temple, which is going to reside in everyone’s heart for generations to come, aptly called mandir in Hindi, surpasses the imagination of common man. Each aspect of it, right from its design to architecture and the material being used to make it, speaks volumes about its history and the cultural landscape that it belongs to.
As per Wikipedia, the original design of Ram Mandir was devised in 1988 by the Sompura family of Ahmedabad which has been designing temples for the past 15 generations and have designed more than 100 temples throughout the world. The chief architect of Ram Mandir is Chandrakant Sompura and his two sons Nikhil Sompura and Ashish Sompura.
Being built in the Nagara style of architecture common in North India, the Ram Mandir befits the most magnificent imagination of any devout Hindu who frequents a temple and is familiar with the conical shaped structure adorned with a triangular flag on top.
The construction company which is working on this project free of cost is Larsen and Toubro and the project management company is Tata Consulting Engineers Limited. The temple has been designed as per Vaastu Shastra and Shilpa shastra, the two tenets which lay down rules for the use of space and materials/stones.
Unlike modern buildings which are built on mainframes of iron and steel with glass facades, the Ram Mandir is being built using only natural and kosher materials such as pink sandstone, granite, shaligram rock, copper plates, gold, ashtdhatu and teak wood.
For the base of the temple, a 14-meter thick rolled compacted concrete has been layered and given the shape of artificial stone. At least 56 layers of compacted concrete, made of fly ash/dust and chemicals, have been used. A 21-foot thick plinth, made of granite, has been used to protect the temple from moisture.
Granite from Karnataka and Telangana, and pink sandstone from Bans Paharpur (Bharatpur, Rajasthan) have been used in the foundation.
The three-storeyed temple is an earthquake-resistant structure. It has 392 pillars and its 44 doors are made of teakwood with gold plating. The estimated age of the temple structure is 2,500 years. The idols are being made out of 60 million years old Shaligram rocks, brought from the Gandaki River in Nepal.
The bell of the temple, made with a combination of eight metals (gold, silver, copper, zinc, lead, tin, iron and mercury) weighs 2100 kg and its sound would be audible up to a distance of 15 km.
The sanctum santorum of the temple has the idol of Shri Ram Lalla (the infant form of Lord Shri Ram). On the first floor, there is a Shri Ram Darbar. The temple consists of five Mandapa or stage: Nritya Mandapa for dance offerings, Rang Mandapa for drama offerings, Sabha Mandapa for meetings, Prarthana Mandapa for prayers and Kirtan Mandapa for offerings of devotional songs.
On all four corners of the periphery (parikota), four temples dedicated to Suryadev, Mother Bhagwati, Lord Ganesha, and Lord Shiva will be constructed. In the northern arm, there will be a temple of Goddess Annapurna, and in the southern arm, there will be a temple of Lord Hanuman.
Within the temple complex, other temples will be dedicated to Maharishi Valmiki, Maharishi Vashishta, Maharishi Vishwamitra, Maharishi Agastya, King Nishad, Mata Shabari, and the Devi Ahilya. There will be a Sita Kup in the temple premises. In the southwest part, the ancient temple of Lord Shiva on the Navratna Kubera Hill will be renovated, and a statue of Jatayu will be installed.
Key specs and features
Architecture: Nagara style
Construction company: Larsen & Toubro
Project Management: Tata Consulting Engineers
Material Used: Natural and kosher such as pink sandstone, granite, shaligram rock, copper plates, gold, ashtdhatu and teak wood
Key Features: Three-storeyed earthquake-resistant, 392 pillars, 44 doors made of teakwood with gold plating
Idols: Made out of 60 million years old Shaligram rocks, brought from the Gandaki River in Nepal.
Bell: Combination of eight metals (gold, silver, copper, zinc, lead, tin, iron and mercury), weight 2,100 kg, Sound audible up to 15 km
Schematics: First floor: Shri Ram Darbar
Five Mandapa: Nritya Mandapa, Rang Mandapa for drama offerings, Sabha Mandapa for meetings, Prarthana Mandapa for prayers and Kirtan Mandapa for offerings of devotional songs
On Periphery: Four temples dedicated to Suryadev, Mother Bhagwati, Lord Ganesha, and Lord Shiva
Northern Arm: Temple of Goddess Annapurna
Southern Arm: Temple of Lord Hanuman
Within Complex: Temples dedicated to Maharishi Valmiki, Maharishi Vashishta, Maharishi Vishwamitra, Maharishi Agastya, King Nishad, Mata Shabari, and Devi Ahilya