JANUARY 20, 2024
The Ayodhya Ram Temple, dedicated to Ram Lalla, seamlessly blends traditional Indian heritage architecture with scientific principles, ensuring its longevity for over a thousand years. Shri Nripendra Misra, chairperson of the temple construction committee, highlights the collaboration with top Indian scientists and the incorporation of ISRO technologies, making it an iconic structure like never before.
The architectural design of the Ayodhya Ram Temple follows the Nagar Shaily, representing northern Indian temple designs. Chandrakant Sompura, the chief architect, hails from a heritage of temple designers spanning 15 generations, and his family, with a legacy of over 100 temples, has left an indelible mark on India’s architectural landscape. Mr. Sompura asserts, “In the annals of architecture, Shri Ram Temple will be a rarely seen, uniquely splendid creation, unparalleled not only in India but anywhere on Earth.”
The Ayodhya Ram Temple, spanning 2.7 acres with a built-up area of 57,000 square feet across three floors, stands as a monumental structure devoid of iron or steel. Nripendra Misra emphasizes the temple’s longevity, eschewing these materials with a mere life span of 80-90 years. Towering at 161 feet, approximately 70% of the Qutab Minar’s height, the temple boasts the use of premium granite, sandstone, and marble, excluding cement or lime mortar. Dr. Pradeep Kumar Ramancharla, Director of the Central Building Research Institute, reveals the exclusive application of a lock-and-key mechanism, employing grooves and ridges, ensuring the structural integrity of this grand edifice resistant to earthquakes with a staggering return period of 2,500 years.
the challenge posed by the sandy and unstable ground beneath the Ayodhya Ram Temple, engineers, led by Mr. Misra, employed an innovative solution. The entire temple area underwent excavation to a depth of 15 meters, where an engineered soil, devoid of steel re-bars, was meticulously laid to a depth of 12-14 meters. The 47 layered bases were then compacted to achieve a solid rock-like foundation.
Atop this foundation, a 1.5 meter thick M-35 grade metal-free concrete raft was added for reinforcement, with an additional 6.3 meter thick solid granite stone plinth from southern India to further fortify the structure. The visible portion of the temple, constructed with ‘Bansi Paharpur’ stone from Rajasthan, features 160 sandstone columns on the ground floor, 132 on the first floor, and 74 on the second floor, all intricately carved on the exterior.
The sanctum sanctorum is adorned with white makrana marble from Rajasthan. The chosen temple model, preserving the Nagara style of architecture, underwent thorough analysis to ensure both performance and architectural integrity, and it stands as a dry-jointed structure designed to withstand a 2500-year return period earthquake without steel reinforcement.
The Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) played a significant role in the construction, contributing to the structural design, the ‘Surya Tilak’ mechanism, foundation design vetting, and structural health monitoring of the main temple. While the temple’s heritage architecture draws inspiration from traditional methods, modern engineering tools and 21st-century building codes were instrumental in defining and securing its longevity.
According to Ramancharla, based on the current state-of-the-art knowledge, the Ram Mandir is poised to endure for more than a thousand years, marking a monumental achievement in construction and engineering.