The ground floor of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, will be ready by the end of year 2023 with devotees being able to get the opportunity to have a darshan of Lord Ram then, CNN-News18 has learnt from sources in the Ram Temple Trust.
August 5, 2021 marks one year of the Bhoomi Pujan of the temple by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ayodhya. The entire complex could be completed by 2025 and could cost around Rs 1,000 crore. The temple Trust already has got donations in the excess of Rs 3,000 crore. The temple complex is expected to be in an area of 110 acres, much larger than the original area of around 67 acres, with the Trust acquiring more land in the vicinity of the existing complex.
“All five mandaps of the Ground Floor and the Garb Griha will be complete by the end of 2023 and laying of stone on the first floor of the temple will also be complete by then. The idols of the Ram Lalla deity will be shifted to the new temple and the Garb Griha in 2023. There is a difference in the completion of the temple and Darshan, and we plan to open the area for visit of devotees by end of 2023,” said a source in the temple Trust. The carving on the stones in the temple and work in rest of the temple complex will remain in progress till 2025. “The construction work of the temple is progressing according to the plan,” the temple trust source told News18.
Around 50% of the work of filling the foundation of the temple with Roller Compacted Concrete is also complete as of today after excavation was done till the depth of 12 meters. The work of filling of the foundation of the temple is expected to be completed by September this year. Around 4 lakh cubic feet stone will be used in the temple construction with Rajasthan stone and marble being used. The height of the sanctum sanctorum ‘Shikhar’ will be 161 feet from the ground floor, the length of the temple will be 360 feet, width 235 feet and height of each floor will be 20 feet. The temple will have three floors and possibly a Ram Darbar on the first floor.
What Ram Temple complex will have
The structure is being designed so that the rays of sunshine fall on the Ram Lalla idol at noon on Ram Navami Day through a window. An astronomical study is being done for the same. The entire complex will have a modern state-of-the-art digital museum, a pilgrim facilitation centre, dwelling places for sadhus and saints, auditoriums and administrative buildings.
The museum will feature history of the temple construction and manuscripts of Ram Kathas from various countries. The Trust is also trying to utilise nearly 70% of pre-carved stone lying in Karsewakpuram for many years, in the construction of the temple. The stones used in the temple will be joined using copper and not steel as the latter is corrosive and has a maximum life of 100 years. The Ram Shilas (bricks) sent from all over the country will also be used appropriately somewhere in the complex given the sensitivity, though the temple does not involve any construction by bricks.
A source said that while some think not much work is going on at the temple site and nothing can be seen at the ground level yet, the fact was that upto 12 meters of digging had to be done to lay a strong foundation of the temple since the soil was unstable till that level due to history of the site.
“70 lakh cubic feet of soil had to be taken out. Larsen & Toubro is the construction agency and will be delivering a modern, but also a structure which captures all ancient and traditional features as well as ensure longevity of the temple. Tata Consultancy Engineers is the project management consultant and Tata Consultancy Services is handling the accounting of funds plus also planning the pilgrim token system to be put in place here,” the source said.
A problem regarding the supply of Rajasthan stones from Bansi Pagar for the super structure of the temple has also been resolved by the Trust. As many as 140 trucks with pre-engineered fill are arriving daily at the site for the foundation site.
The help of experts from IIT Chennai, CDRI, CSIR-NGRI, CBRI Roorkee, IIT Madras, IIT Guwahati, IIT Delhi and IIT Mumbai have been taken by the temple Trust for various parts of the massive project. The CDRI has also done an integrated stability study of the entire structure, while the NDRI Hyderabad has done a geo-physical study.