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Ayodhya Ram Mandir: The Choice of Stone Over Iron or Steel in Temple Construction

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For many years, a small tent in Ayodhya held an idol of infant Lord Ram, known as Ram Lalla. However, after the historic Supreme Court decision allowing the construction of the Ram Mandir on the site of the Babri Masjid, a new idol will be placed in the Garbha Griha of the Ram Temple on January 22 in a grand ceremony.

The magnificence of the Ram temple is truly impressive. Interestingly, no iron or cement was used in its construction. To make the temple earthquake-resistant, flexible stone was used instead of iron. Professor Ramanchrala Pradeep Kumar, Director of the CSIR-Central Building Research Institute, explained that stone was chosen for its durability compared to other materials, and iron was avoided due to rusting concerns. The temple’s structure has also been designed to withstand earthquakes.

The unique stones used in the temple have grooves cut into them, allowing other stones to fit into these grooves without the use of cement. The primary pink stone used in the construction comes from Bansi Paharpur in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, known for its longevity and strength.

Champat Rai, the General Secretary of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, shared that during soil testing, loose sand was found beneath the temple instead of suitable soil for the foundation. To address this, specialists from various institutions were consulted, leading to the removal of 14 meters of sand from six acres of temple land. Subsequently, 56 layers of a unique concrete mix known as Rolled Compact Concrete were placed to create a solid foundation for the temple.

The temple follows the Nagara architectural style, a traditional North Indian style that excludes the use of iron. This style, linked to the region between the Vindhyas and the Himalayas, is also seen in other Hindu temples like Khajuraho, Somnath, and the Sun Temple of Konark.