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Ayodhya Ram Mandir

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The Historical, Architectural, Cultural and Geographical Significance

Sri Ram Mandir, popularly known as Ayodhya Ram Mandir, is a Hindu temple in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. The temple is dedicated to Lord Sri Rama and Ram Janmabhoomi (the birthplace of Lord Sri Rama) is believed to have been there. This Ram temple represents Lord Rama’s cultural and spiritual heritage and has immense cultural and religious significance for Indians.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided over the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony of the Ram Lalla idol in the sanctum sanctorum of the newly constructed Ram temple in Ayodhya on 22nd January 2024.

Around 7,000 invitees including politicians, industrialists, celebrities, and sports personalities attended the Pran Pratishtha ceremony. The temple was opened for visits the next day after.

Architecture and Style

The original design for Ram Mandir was created in 1988 by the Sompura family of Ahmedabad. The Sompuras have contributed to the design of over 100 temples around the world for at least 15 generations, including the Somnath temple. The chief architect of the temple was Chandrakant Sompura, who was assisted by his two sons Nihil Sompura and architect Ashish Sompura.

With some changes from the original, the new design was created by Sompuras in 2020, according to Indian texts, Vastu Shastras and Shilpa Shastras.

The magnificent proportions and intricate details of the church design can be summed up by the artistic vision and courage of traditional architecture. About 550 temples in India were studied to find the best architectural design for the Ram Mandir.

Foundation and Base of the Temple:

A 14-meter-thick roller-pressed concrete, which looks like artificial stone, was used to build the foundation of the temple with a granite plinth 21 meters high built to protect the soil from moisture.

Design of the Main Temple Complex:

  • The main temple is built in Nagara Style. The original design of Ram Mandir was developed in 1988 by the Sompura family of Ahmedabad. However, in 2020, the old design was changed according to Vastu Shastra and Shilpa Shastra.
  • This represents a conscious effort to blend aesthetic grace with ancient wisdom. The Sompura family has a rich heritage in temple craftsmanship and is associated with the design of famous Indian temples such as Somnath. Thus, their association brings a sense of continuity to the architectural design of Ram Mandir and adds to its history and art.
  • The Temple Complex has three stories (floors), and each story is designed to allow devotees to experience a different stage of Lord Rama’s divine journey.
  • The story of Lord Rama’s birth and childhood is depicted on the first floor of the temple. The first floor is decorated like Lord Rama’s Darbaar.
  • The temple consists of a total of five Mandaps (Halls) – Nritya Mandap, Rang Mandap, Sabha Mandap, Prarthna and Kirtan Mandaps.
  • This temple has a total of 44 doors, some of which are covered with 100 kg of gold.
  • The main entrance to the temple is called Singh Dwar. This entrance has statues and busts of famous characters from Ramayana.
  • The pillars and walls of the temple are decorated with statues of deities as well as intricate designs that reflect the centuries-old history of India.
  • Along the Parikrama route, the 100 stories of Valmiki’s Ramayana are carved into pillars and pillars. The aim is to offer Ram Katha Darshan.

The Main Temple Entrance:

The Temple entrance graces some very intricate statues. Ornate statues of elephants, tigers, Lord Hanuman, and Garuda were installed at the main entrance leading to the temple earlier this month. These statues were made with sandstone brought from Bansi Paharpur.

The Other Features of Temple Complex:

  • This temple is surrounded by a rectangular compound wall called Parkota. The total length of this wall is 732 meters and its width is 14 feet.
  • Along with the main Ram Mandir, the temple complex consists of several other religious structures.
  • A temple was built in each corner of the camp. These temples are dedicated to Surya Dev, Devi Bhagwati, Ganesh Bhagwan, and Lord Shiva.
  • The northern branch of the temple complex has the Maa Annapurna temple and the southern branch has the temple of Lord Hanuman.
  • A historic well called Sita Kup is located near the temple. This goes back to the past.
  • Several other temples proposed to be built in the temple complex are dedicated to Maharishi Vashishta, Maharishi Valmiki, Maharishi Vishwamitra, Maharishi Agastya, Nishad Raj, Devi Ahilya and Mata Shabri.
  • Kuber Tila is in the southwest part of the complex. The ancient temple of Lord Shiva in this part has been restored. A bronze statue of Ramayana hero ‘Jatayu’ is also installed here.
  • The idols are made of 60-million-year-old Shaligram stone brought from the Gandaki River (Nepal).
  • The Bell is made of Ashtadhatu (gold, silver, copper, zinc, lead, lead, iron, and mercury). The Bell weighs about 2100 Kg. It can be heard up to 15 km away.
  • The temple complex includes a museum displaying artifacts related to Lord Rama and the Ramayana. thus. Apart from being just a religious center, the Ram temple is also envisioned as a cultural and educational center.
  • The temple is an earthquake-resistant structure, with an estimated age of 2500 years.

The Green Complex:

The Temperature Complex also houses some unique environment-sensitive and friendly features:

  • Sewage Treatment Plant
  • Water Treatment Plant
  • Fire Service
  • Independent Power Station.
  • 25,000-capacity Pilgrim Facilitation Center to provide medical facilities and locker facilities to pilgrims.
  • A separate block with a bathing area, washroom, washbasin, open tap, etc.
  • Learning from the lightning damage to some old temples in Mathura and Kashi, around 200 KA light arresters have been installed on the temple structure.
  • A major part of the temple compound is a green area with hundreds of trees. About 70 percent of the complex is green space.
  • The fire brigade post will be able to source water from an underground reservoir.

Time Capsule at the Temple Premise

A time capsule is placed about 2,000 meters below the temple. The capsule contains a brass plate inscribed with relevant information related to Ram Mandir, Lord Rama, and Ayodhya. The purpose of this time capsule is to ensure that the identity of the church does not change over time so that it is not forgotten in the future.

Prominent Features of Nagara Style of Temple Architecture

It is a style of temple architecture that flourished from the 5th century onwards and became widespread in North India. Apart from some basic elements common to all Hindu temples, this temple style has its unique features.

  • The main temple is Panchayatan style, built on a rectangular plinth in the center of the temple complex. Along with this, four additional small temples are being built in the 4 corners of the temple complex.
  • Images of river deities, Ganga, and Yamuna are kept outside the Garbhagriha.
  • This temple is usually built on a raised platform.
  • The portico has a colonnaded approach.
  • The vertical end of the Shikhara shaped like a horizontal disc is called Amalak. A round image called Kalash is placed on top of Amalak.
  • There is an ambulatory passage around the sanctum sanctorum called Pradakshina Road.
  • Sanctum Sanctorum – Also called Grabhgriha. This is a small room with the main deity of the temple.
  • Mandapa – Sanctum means the portico or assembly hall leading to the sanctum sanctorum.
  • Shikhara – Refers to a mountain-like spear. The shape can vary from pyramidal to curved.
  • Vahana – Refers to the mountain or vehicle of the main deity. It is placed in front of the sanctuary.

Ram Jyoti After the Pran Pratishtha Ceremony

Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged citizens to light ‘Ram Jyoti’ on the auspicious occasion and welcome Ram Lal. Prime Minister Narendra Modi lit the Ram Jyoti (clay lamp) after the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony of the Ram Lalla idol at the newly constructed Ram temple in Ayodhya on Monday evening.

After the Consecration ceremony, the city of Ayodhya was decorated with 10 million lighted Diyas, transforming the landscape into a spectacular spectacle.

Significance of the Ram Mandir Construction for India

  1. A new significance of India in terms of architecture and spirituality is highlighted in Ayodhya as a new architectural marvel of beautiful sandstone carved by artisans with devotion to Lord Ram.
  2. Ayodhya and Ram Mandir are considered symbols of the country’s historical and cultural heritage. Therefore, the construction of the temple is a step towards celebrating and preserving India’s cultural heritage.
  3. Many charities are expected to come around the temple. The Ram Mandir will support many welfare and social services.
  4. As one of the main Hindu holy places, Ram Mandir will boost tourism in the Ayodhya area. This in turn will stimulate economic growth and create jobs in the region.
  5. The construction of the Ram temple started the infrastructure development of the Ayodhya region. Major infrastructure projects such as roads and airports are expected to be implemented in the region.
  6. This temple is completely built using traditional and indigenous Indian technology. Advanced digital documentation techniques, including 3D mapping and virtual reality, are used to preserve construction work and details. This is to enable the future generation to study and learn about the construction of the temple in a technologically advanced manner.
  7. The participation of people from different religious communities in the construction of Ram Mandir contributed to the development of the secular fabric of the nation.
  8. The holy water of 150 Indian rivers is used in the Bhoomi Pujan ceremony. This tradition suggests that the temple is a testament to the wider cultural integration, as well as the integration of diversity that is the most important feature of Indian society.
  9. Special attention was paid to environmentally friendly practices in the construction of the temple. The construction aspect emphasizes the environment and water conservation. Using locally sourced materials and energy-efficient design elements aims to focus on sustainability and reduce environmental impact.
  10. Placing a Time Capsule under the church is a future-oriented gesture of our duty to preserve the cultural and historical significance of the church for future generations.
  11. Ramps and elevators have been installed in the temple to make it accessible to disabled and elderly people.
  12. Soil from Thailand will be used in the consecration ceremony of the law of Lord Rama. As well as increasing Ayodhya’s universal appeal as a spiritual center, it also means that Lord Rama’s legacy transcends geographical boundaries.

The Ayodhya Ram Mandir, in a nutshell, represents a confluence of faith, history, culture, and architectural brilliance. The temple stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Lord Rama and the collective spirit of the nation. The construction of the temple is only the beginning of India’s cultural renaissance, with the temple expected to serve as a beacon guiding the spiritual and cultural aspirations of future generations.

Disclaimer: The information and Statistics are taken from the following sources- The Hindu and Hindustan times

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