The construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya is not just a monumental architectural endeavor; it is a symbol of cultural resurgence and collective efforts that span decades. In this comprehensive exploration, we delve into the intricate details of the temple’s construction, the key figures who played pivotal roles, and the cultural legacy of the Sompura family, the architects behind this iconic structure.
The Ram Mandir, sprawled across 110 acres, is estimated to cost around Rs 1800 crores. Its architectural grandeur follows the traditional Nagar style of ancient India. Originally designed in 1988 by the renowned Sompura family of Ahmedabad, the temple stands as a testament to their architectural prowess. With three stories, each floor towering at 20 feet, the temple features 392 pillars and an impressive 44 doors. Adding to its splendor is a 2100 Kg bell, symbolizing the resonance of devotion that will echo through its hallowed halls.
The temple complex doesn’t just focus on spiritual aspects. It includes state-of-the-art facilities such as a pilgrim facility center, a water treatment plant, a solar power plant, and a sewer treatment plant. These modern amenities showcase a thoughtful blend of tradition and technology, making the temple not just a place of worship but also a center of community welfare.
Timeline and Funding:
The ambitious project is set to be fully completed by 2025, marking a significant milestone in India’s cultural and religious landscape. The funding for the construction is a collaborative effort between the public and private sectors, predominantly relying on donations. This unique approach signifies the widespread support and devotion that people have for the construction of the Ram Mandir, turning it into a symbol of unity and shared belief.
Key Figures Behind Ram Mandir:
The construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya is not merely a feat of architecture; it is deeply entwined with the efforts of key figures and organizations. The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) has played a substantial role in advocating for the temple’s construction, being an integral part of the broader Ram Janmabhoomi movement. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu nationalist organization, has actively mobilized public sentiment in support of the cause.
The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, established by the Government of India, oversees the construction process. Comprising representatives from the VHP and other organizations associated with the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, the trust symbolizes a collective commitment to realizing the vision of the Ram Mandir.
Individuals such as Lal Krishna Advani, who played a crucial role in mobilizing political support through his Rath Yatra in 1990, and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former Prime Minister of India associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have been instrumental in lending political backing to the movement.
Kalyan Singh, as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, played a key role in the early stages of the movement and the subsequent events leading to the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992. Acharya Giriraj Kishore, a senior leader of the VHP, has also significantly contributed to the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.
Chandrakant Sompura: The Architectural Maestro:
At the heart of the Ram Mandir’s design is the Sompura family, with Chandrakant Sompura leading the way. The original design, conceptualized in 1988, bears the imprint of their creative genius. The Sompuras, who have been part of temple design for over 15 generations, have left an indelible mark on the architectural landscape, having designed over 100 temples worldwide.
A new design for the Ram temple was unveiled in 2020, incorporating some changes from the original plan. The temple’s dimensions are awe-inspiring, with a width of 235 feet, a length of 360 feet, and a height reaching 161 feet. The chief architect, Chandrakant Sompura, is joined by his two sons, Nikhil Sompura and Ashish Sompura, both architects in their own right.
The Sompura family’s expertise lies in the ‘Nagara’ style of architecture, a distinctive form of Indian temple architecture. Beyond the temple structure, the complex encompasses a prayer hall, a Ramkatha Kunj (lecture hall), a Vaidik Pathshala (educational facility), a Sant Niwas (saints residence), and a Yatri Niwas (hostel for visitors). Additionally, the complex will house a museum and a cafeteria, enhancing its cultural and community offerings.
Cultural Legacy of the Sompura Family:
The Sompura family’s involvement in temple architecture spans a rich legacy of 18 generations. Chandrakant and his sons, Nikhil and Ashish, represent the latest link in this venerable chain of temple architects. Their contribution extends beyond the Ram Mandir, with a portfolio boasting 131 temples across the country and abroad.
Notable temples like Somnath and Ambaji stand as testaments to the artistic prowess of the Sompura family. Prabhashankar Sompura, Chandrakant’s father, designed the famous Somnath and Ambaji temples. Going further back, Ramjibhai Sompura, Chandrakant’s grandfather, left his mark on the temples of Palitana in Gujarat.
The Sompura family’s experience is not just limited to India; their architectural influence has reached global shores. The Palitana temple even features a gate named Ramji Gate, solidifying their connection with the revered name of Lord Ram. With an illustrious history, the Sompura family brings a wealth of experience and cultural significance to the construction of the Ram Mandir.
The construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya transcends the boundaries of a mere architectural project. It encapsulates a cultural revival, a testament to collective faith, and the dedication of key figures and organizations. The Sompura family’s architectural prowess, spanning generations, adds a layer of cultural richness to this monumental endeavor.
As the temple nears completion, it stands not just as a place of worship but as a symbol of unity, devotion, and the resilience of a cultural heritage. The Ram Mandir in Ayodhya represents a bridge between tradition and modernity, seamlessly blending spiritual significance with contemporary amenities. As we eagerly await its inauguration in 2025, the temple is poised to become not only the world’s third-largest Hindu shrine but a timeless testament to India’s cultural legacy.