Before learning about Ram Mandir and its importance in the Hindu belief system, it is important to know about lord Ram. Ram was the 7th incarnation of lord Vishnu and one of the most widely worshipped deities in all of India and beyond. His life story has been written in great detail in the Hindu epic writings of Mahabharata and Ramayan. He is also known as the Supreme Being, an embodiment of chivalry and virtue.
As the name suggests, Ram Mandir is dedicated to Lord Ram on the site of Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya. The temple is intricately and very dedicatedly constructed. Huge contributions were made by Hindus from all over the world.
Here is everything you need to know about Ram Mandir, Ayodhya:
The holy town of Ayodhya is situated in the south-central region of the state of Uttar Pradesh in North India. Settled along the banks of Saryu River, east of Faizabad, this ancient town is one out of the seven most sacred towns in India. This place is highly revered among the Hindu population because of its association with the epic poem of Ramayana as the birthplace of lord Ram. During that time the town is defined as a prosperous and well-fortified home to a large population. This early capital of the Kosala kingdom had also become a major centre for Buddhist learning and promoting Buddhist teachings. The town has also been mentioned in various Buddhist and Jain texts as Saketa where Gautam Buddha and Lord Mahavira are said to have resided for some time.
Being one of the Sapta Puris of India, Ram Janmabhoomi is frequented by pilgrims from all over the world. Ayodhya is steeped in rich history since the ancient ages. Its value is on almost every religious text. While the town is replete with temples of great importance, there have been remnants of stupas and Buddhist shrines also found that date back to the 3rd century. All these reasons are what makes Ayodhya a unique destination.
Ayodhya as Saketa
Various studies have been done and are going on in the city. Archaeological and literary evidence present the fact that the current day-Ayodhya had developed into an urban settlement by the 5th or 6th century. The site is properly identified as the location of the ancient city of Saketa. Later Buddhist texts also revealed that Ayodhya was one of the 6 largest cities of that time. This busy town that was frequented by travellers had become extremely important for preachers such as Mahavira and Buddha.
History of Ram Mandir, Ayodhya
As per the epic Ramayan, Ayodhya is mentioned as the birthplace of lord Ram, an incarnation of Hari or Vishnu. Despite the town being extremely old, there are very few surviving monuments of any antiquity. The Babri Masjid was constructed during the early 16th century by the Mughal emperor Babur. The mosque was constructed on the site of lord Ram’s birth place which was marked by an ancient temple. Since the temple site held great importance to both Hindus and Muslims, it was always a matter of contention.
Babri Masjid Controversy
It was in 1990 that the mosque was stormed in by a mob of protestors who went ahead and tore the mosque down with the intention of getting the Ram Janmabhoomi Temple constructed. This crisis led to the fall of the Indian government during that time. Two years later, in December 1992, the three storey mosque was demolished completely within a few hours. After issuing of the report in 2009, by an investigative team formed by Manmohan Singh, an uproar was caused among the leading figures of the nation. A court ruling in 2010 divided the land between the Hindus and Muslims equally however, this decision was overturned by the supreme court of India in 2019. The final judgement entrusted the property exclusively to Hindus.
Ram Mandir Construction
The responsibility for the temple construction was given to Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust. The first phase was flagged off in March 2020 but due to the COVID 19 pandemic, construction was temporarily suspended. In the latter half of March, the main idol of the deity Ram was moved to a temporary location, under the supervision of chief minister Yogi Adityanath. Temple construction had officially resumed after the foundation laying ceremony during which Prime Minister Modi had laid a 40 kg of silver brick symbolic of a foundation stone. All this was done post the rigorous 3 days of Vedic rituals.
The company Larsen and Toubro offered to oversee the design and construction of the temple pro bono and are the contractors for the project. The construction preparations were done with great excitement where a Vijay Mahamantra chanting ritual took place. The final tally after the construction of the temple resulted in the usage of 600 thousand cubic feet of sandstone.
Years of struggle, hard work, court hearings and debates later, people’s dreams finally came true on 22nd January 2024, when the gates of the temple were opened for darshan. This is one iconic moment that has carved its name in the history books for times to come.
Ram Mandir Bhoomi Pujan
During the occasion of the Bhoomi Pujan, soil and holy water from various sacred spots were given that included Ganga, Yamuna, Kaveri, Saraswati, Kamakhya Devi Temple and more. Various Hindu Temples, Gurudwaras and Jain Temples also contributed some soil as a mark of respect and acceptance. Many of these temples were Sharda Peeth located in Pakistan. Soil was also sent over from the pilgrimage sites of the Char Dham Temples. Various temples from United States, Canada and even the Caribbean islands held a virtual service to commemorate the holy occasion. All the 7000 temples located within the 7 km radius of Hanumangarhi also participated in their own way by lighting lamps and decorating the vicinity.
Architecture of Ram Mandir, Ayodhya
A model of the temple was showcased during the Prayag Kumbh Mela in 2019. The three story temple is built in Negara style of architecture with the use of iron and with the help of native technology. It stands tall at a height of 161 feet, 380 feet long and 250 feet wide. The original design for the temple was prepared by the family of sompura of Ahmedabad in 1988. The sompur family is responsible for designing over hundreds of temples around the world for at least 15 generations. In 2020 the people of Sompur designed a new ram temple along with making changes to the original one. After completion, the temple measures at 235 feet wide, 360 feet long and 161 feet high. A traditional Hindu Nagara style of architecture was adopted by the chief architect of the temple, Chandrakant Sompura. He along with his two sons Nikhil and Ashish Sompura were the chief appointed architects. Stone from Rajasthan and granite from Telangana is utilised to build the temple hence showcasing the various features of the whole country through its architecture.
The temple complex consists of a prayer hall of a Ramakanth Kunj which is also referred to as a lecture hall, a Vedic Pathshala or an educational facility, Sant’s Niwas or a saint’s residence and a Yatri Niwas or a hostel for visitors. Other amenities include a museum and a cafeteria facility as well. After its completion, the Ram Mandir stands tall for being the 3rd largest Hindu temple in the world.
Ram Mandir Opening Ceremony
The grand inauguration of the temple took place on January 22nd 2024 after much waiting by Ram Lalla’s believers. The process of sending out the invitations by the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra had started much ahead. These invitations were sent out to over 6,000 individuals which included famous personalities, saints, religious leaders, political figures, philosophers and other important Personnels. Even the Babri Masjid litigant, Iqbal Ansari was also invited to attend the consecration ceremony. All the Muslim devotees who consider Ram Ji as their ancestor also attended this holy ceremony. The inauguration was attended by the prime minister of India Narendra Modi accompanied by the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath. The final installation of the Ram Lalla idol was performed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The attendees expressed that this was one of the most wholesome and one of a kind experience they have ever had.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. What Is Special About Ram Mandir?
Ans. Ram Mandir is built on the birthplace of Lord Ram.
Q2. Who Solved The Ram Mandir Issue?
Ans. A5 bench judge of the Supreme Court unanimously pronounced its verdict in November 2019.
Q3. When Was The Ram Mandir Destroyed?
Ans. The Ram Mandir was razed out by the Muslim Mughal rulers during the 15th century.
Q4. Why Do We Worship Lord Ram?
Ans. Lord Ram is the ideal personification of the perfect man and the 7th incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Hence he is worshipped.
Q5. What Is The Old Name Of Ayodhya?
Ans. Saketa is the old name of Ayodhya.
Q6. Which River Flows In Ayodhya?
Ans. Saryu River flows in Ayodhya who have also been mentioned in various ancient Hindu scriptures such as the Vedas and Ramayana.