The proposed Ram temple in Ayodhya will be almost double the size of what was originally planned as its design was modified following the Supreme Court verdict last year, its architect said on Friday.
The temple, to be constructed in Nagara style of architecture, will have five domes instead of two as envisaged earlier to accommodate more number of devotees, the architect said.
According to him, the project is likely to be completed in the next three years once the work commences. The 'bhoomi pujan' (ground-breaking) ceremony of the temple in Ayodhya is scheduled to be held on August 5, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to attend, as told by the members of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra, a trust formed to oversee its construction.
"The design of the temple was modified after the Supreme Court verdict. Now it will be almost double the size
of what was originally planned," architect Chandrakant Sompura, who has designed it, told PTI.
"It will now have a shikhara (tower) over the sanctum sanctorum and five domes instead of the earlier plan of two domes. The height of the temple will also be more than what was in the previous plan," he said.
In November last year, the Supreme Court had paved the way for the construction of Ram temple by at the disputed site at Ayodhya, and directed the Centre to allot an alternative five-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a new mosque at a "prominent" place in the holy town in Uttar Pradesh.
Sompura, 77, who comes from a family of temple architects that have designed over 200 such structures, said that he was asked to prepare a design for the Ram temple by late leader of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), Ashok Singhal, around 30 years ago.
He said designing the Ram temple was an uphill task 30 years back, as he had to prepare drawings using his footsteps as the unit of measurement. "When I first visited the site in Ayodhya in 1990, nothing was allowed to be taken inside the premises due to security concerns, not even a measurement tape and I had to measure with my footsteps," Sompura said.
Based on his design of the temple, the VHP had started preparation for its construction in the 1990s by setting up a unit of carving of stones in Ayodhya, he said.
"However, after the Supreme Court verdict in favour of construction at the Ramjamabhoomi site, the temple design was changed," he said. "Now there will be five domes. It has two reasons-first, there is no dearth of land for the temple now and the second one is that after so much of publicity, we expect that a large number of devotees will visit the temple everyday and the size has been increased to accommodate them," he said.
According to Sompura, his son Ashish had presented this revised plan before the trust in June, which was approved. Ashish Sompura will look after the construction of the temple, although his father will have the final say on it.
The septuagenarian architect said that he has designed many temples, but the Ayodhya Ram temple project is special to him just as the Somnath temple was for his grandfather Prabhashankar Sompura, who designed and oversaw its reconstruction.
"This project is special as it is being built at the birthplace of Lord Ram. We have to ensure that it should be the best. With five domes, which is rare, it will set an example. It will be developed as the best place of worship in terms of temple architecture," he said.
"The temple is likely to be completed in next three years after its work begins," he added. Sompura said his family designs temples in Nagara style and the structure in Ayodhya will also be built in that style of North Indian temple architecture.