The groundbreaking ceremony for Ram temple

The Ayodhya is decked up for the August 5 event when religious leaders and other dignitaries will gather for the ceremony. A bridge over Saryu river has been illuminated and priests performed ‘aarti’ at the ghat of Saryu river as  the religious rituals got underway on Monday, two days ahead of the groundbreaking ceremony for a Ram temple.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone for the temple in the August 5 ceremony. Twenty-one priests on Monday conducted prayers dedicated to Lord Ganesh. According to reports, the muhurat (auspicious moment) will last only for 32 seconds on Wednesday - from 12:44:08 on to 12:44:40 pm. One hundred seventy-five people have been invited for the event, out of which 135 are saints of that many traditions. On the dais, there will be just five people - Narendra Modi, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, trust chief Nritya Gopaldas Maharaj, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel and chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
Design for the proposed temple was first drafted between 1985 and 1986. However, the initial design has now been modified to ensure that the temple can accommodate more devotees. The temple will be 161 feet in height and will have three floors.
The proposed width of the structure is 140 feet. The three-story temple will have 318 pillars, 106 pillars on each floor.  These pillars will be designed in accordance with Hindu mythology.  Spread over 69 acres, this will be the only temple in the world with five domes. While doors and pillars have been carved for the temple in Ayodhya over the years and reports say that so have the walls, the ‘garbh-griha’ (sanctum sanctorum) is yet to be built, where Ram Lalla, the deity, will be placed and worshipped.
The Ram temple will have five entrances: Singh Dwar, Nritya Mandap, Rand Mandap, Pooja Room, and the all-important ‘garbh griha’ with parikrama. Ram Lalla, the idol, will be placed on the ground floor itself. At least 1.75 lakh cubic feet of sandstone will be required for the full construction of the temple as envisioned. A bell weighing 2,100 kg has been made for the proposed grand Ram temple in Ayodhya. The huge bell has been crafted by a Muslim craftsman, Iqbal, in Jalesar in Etah district. The construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya is likely to start from Ram Navami in April next year.

- Prabhakar Purandare

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