Ram Temple Construction Committee Chairperson Nripendra Mishra informed that the construction of the ground floor of the three-storey will be completed by December-end, while the consecration ceremony is expected to take place on January 22. He further said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to take part in an event related to the ‘pran pratishtha’ on any day during January 20-24. The final date is yet to be communicated by the Prime Minister’s Office, he said.
Mishra also said work is underway to design an apparatus that will be installed on the ‘shikhar’ of the temple, which will make sun rays fall momentarily on the forehead of the deity in the sanctum sanctorum on the day of Ram Navami every year. It is being built in Bengaluru and its design is being overseen by scientists, he added. The Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee, and an institute in Pune have jointly created a computerised programme for this, Mishra said.
The Supreme Court in a 2019 verdict had paved the way for the construction of a Ram temple by a trust at the disputed site in 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 of Uttar Pradesh. The court had ruled that the 2.77 acres of the disputed land where the demolished 16th century-era Babri Masjid once stood will remain with a Central government receiver and be handed over to the trust within three months of the ruling for the construction of the temple.
The Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust will formally invite Prime Minister Modi for the consecration ceremony during which the idol of Ram Lalla will be installed in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. The temple trust has decided to start the process of the consecration of Ram Lalla after Makar Sankranti on January 14, and observe a 10-day ritual of Ram Lalla’s ‘pran pratishtha’ (consecration).
The Ram temple in Ayodhya is likely to open for devotees on January 24 after the consecration of Ram Lalla idol, Mishra, a member of the trust, had said in June. In response to a query during the interview, Mishra did not reject the suggestion that the ceremony taking place ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls shall have political implications. “It was planned to complete the construction of the ground floor of the temple by December 2023 and this work will definitely be completed within the stipulated time,” he said He said the temple is being constructed with a vision that its structure will last at least 1,000 years
The ‘pran pratishtha’ will be started in consultation with knowledgable saints and sages, Mishra added. He said a committee under the trust’s general secretary Champat Rai has been set up which is working the details of this planned ceremony. “When the ceremony takes place on January 22 next year, then there is a huge rush expected. The trust has urged people to see it from their homes, villages (via television broadcast),” the chairman of the temple’s construction committee said. The Prime Minister’s Office is yet to inform as to on what date he will attend the ‘pran pratistha’-related ceremony, Mishra said, adding the trust will announce it when the final programme comes.
But it is expected to be during January 20-24 as after that the PM will be very busy with Republic Day and other programmes, Mishra said. When asked about the plan for devotees who will come after the consecration ceremony, he said, they will get 15-20 seconds time to for a ‘darshan’, but they will be satisfied with the overall experience at the temple complex. On the temple architecture and construction material, Mishra said, iron has not been used in its construction, and copper has been used to link stone blocks. The built-up area of the temple is 2.5 acres and if one includes the ‘parikrama path’ the total area of the complex is about eight acres, he said.
Ninety bronze panels will depict the life and duties performed by Lord Ram, he added. He also said about Rs 900 crore has been spent so far on the temple’s construction, and it is estimated that about Rs 1,700 crore to 1,800 crore will be spent on the overall construction of the complex. Mishra said some artefacts were unearthed during excavations by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) and some objects were found during the temple’s groundbreaking and construction work.
Some of these items have been placed safely under the custody of the trust, Mishra said. “After taking permission from the ASI, we will display these in a proposed museum.” Asked about the invitees for the consecration ceremony, he said, a preliminary list of 10,000 people is being prepared, which will include saints, seers, people associated with Ram temple movement etc, he added.
(With inputs from PTI)
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