It will be a landmark event in Indian history when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will perform the Bhoomi Pujan (bricklaying ceremony) for Ram Janmabhoomi Temple in Ayodhya on August 5. Top BJP leaders like L. K. Advani, Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Kalyan Singh and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar have been invited.
Prime Minister Modi will place two out of the five silver bricks at the sanctum sanctorum of the temple premises, the plan for which has been prepared by the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerthkshetra Trust. The five silver bricks will symbolize the five major planets of Hindu astrology, said Mahant Kamal Nayan Das, spokesman for Trust chief Mahant Nrityagopal Das.
The entire Ram temple plan has undergone major changes. The length, breadth and height of the temple have been increased, and the entire shrine will be spread over a vast area keeping in mind the expected huge influx of Hindu devotees from all over the world. Building plans of ten major temples in India were studied and the minutest details were gone through.
In the earlier plan, there were only two domes, but in the new plan, five domes have been featured, according to India TV correspondent Nirnay Kapoor, who has studied the new plan sketches. In the old plan, the temple was 310 feet long and 160 feet broad, and its topmost spire was 141 feet high. In the changed plan, the length has been increased to 360 feet, breadth 235 feet and the tallest spire right above the sanctum sanctorum (garbha griha) is 161 feet.
In the previous plan, there were three mandaps, which have now been increased to five. In order to bring a balance in the temple structure, a storey has been added to the main spire and the main mandap. Two more mandaps, kirtan mandap and Prarthana mandap, each 62.5 feet high, will be built on either side of ‘goodh mandap’(main hall), the height of which will be 98 feet. The dome of the main mandap was first planned above the ground and first floors. Now, a second floor has been added. This second floor will not be open for devotees.
In front of the main mandap will be a ‘rang mandap, 76 feet high, which will have two floors. Near the temple entrance, will be a ‘nritya mandap’ 56 feet high whose dome will be built above the ground floor.
The idol of Ram Lala will be placed in the garbha griha (sanctum sanctorum). On the floor just above the garbha griha, idols of Ram Durbar will be placed. A staircase from ground to the first floor will be 16 feet wide, compared to six feet planned earlier.
There will be no major changes in the stone sculpture on the temple walls. These stones have already been sculpted and will be used for the temple. The pile foundation for the temple may be 60 meters deep.
Several reasons were factored in while increasing the layout of the temple. The older model was prepared by architect Chandrakant Sompura from Gujarat in 1989. At that time, the expectation was that five lakh devotees would visit every year, but this figure has now been hiked to 3.5 crore, which comes, on average, to more than a lakh devotees a day.
Building plans of ten important shrines, Somnath temple, Tirupati Balaji shrine, Ambaji temple, Delhi Akshardham, Kashi Vishwanath temple, Dwarkadheesh temple, Jagannath Puri temple, Badrinath temple, Golden Temple, Amritsar and Sanwaliya Seth Mandir, Chittorgarh, were analysed and changes were made for the upcoming Ram temple.
The Ram Janmabhoomi temple will be rebuilt after a span of nearly 500 years. In 1528, the Babri Masjid was built during Mughal emperor Babar’s rule by demolishing the temple. Hindu sadhus had been fighting for several centuries to reclaim the birthplace of Lord Ram, considered the ‘avatar’ (reincarnation) of Lord Vishnu.
The Ram Janmabhoomi temple has been planned in such a manner that it can withstand the vagaries of nature for thousands of years. Devotees of Lord Ram desire that the temple must be truly magnificent and splendid. The shrine will be spread over nearly 120 acres, and the state government may have to acquire at least 50 more acres.
Once the temple is ready, the Ram Janmabhoomi shrine will be the world’s third-largest temple. The largest temple is the Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia, which has a 213 feet high spire and spread over 410 acres. The Sriranganatha Swamy temple in Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, built for Lord Vishnu, is spread over 156 acres.
The sanctum sanctorum of Ayodhya Ram temple will be octagonal in shape and will be built in Nagara style of temple architecture.
This will be the second time in independent India’s history when a thousand-year-old temple will be rebuilt on such a massive scale. Soon after independence, the Somnath temple was rebuilt and inaugurated by the then President Dr. Rajendra Prasad.
After long and torturous litigation that went on from British rule till 2019, the path towards rebuilding Ram temple was cleared through a Supreme Court verdict, which was widely accepted by the people of India. Our Muslim brethren have also expressed satisfaction over the rebuilding of Ram temple.
There are however mischievous elements who are trying to inject poison in our multi-cultural society by raising questions on an issue relating to faith. Such conspiracies must be nipped in the bud. Such elements should know that Lord Ram is the cornerstone of Indian faith and culture. The samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi features the words “Hey Ram”, the locks of Ram Lala shrine were opened in 1989 on orders of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, and even the Supreme Court has admitted that Ram symbolizes the faith of millions of Indians.
Let us all celebrate the rebuilding of Ram temple at his birthplace in Ayodhya and set right a historical wrong committed 500 years ago.
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