EXCLUSIVE: Inside Ram Mandir's sanctum sanctorum that awaits daily influx of 1,25,000 devotees - WATCH
In an exclusive interview with Asianet News Network's Rajesh Kalra, Nripendra Misra speaks at length about the sanctum sanctorum of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, process for selecting Lord Ram's idol, the number of devotees expected and more.
In the heart of Ayodhya, a sacred transformation has been underway since August 5, 2020, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed a historic puja, marking the commencement of the construction of the grand Ram Mandir.
At the heart of this monumental project lies the Sanctum Sanctorum, the holiest of holy places. As devotees await the doors of the Ram Mandir to open in January 2024, Nripendra Misra, Chairman of the Temple Construction Committee for the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, highlights the remarkable progress of the construction of the Sanctum Sanctorum.
In an exclusive interview with Asianet News' Rajesh Kalra, the former Principal Secretary to Prime Minister of India, also speaks at length about the process for selecting Lord Ram's idol, the number of devotees expected a day after the grand opening, the divine illumination upon Lord Ram's forehead and more.
"Today, what is left there is basically the pedestal of Bhagwan, then that will be in the centre," Misra said as he stood in front of the Sanctum Sanctorum. "The selection of the murthi for which work is going on here. There are three sculptors who are making Lord Ram. They have been given all the description in terms of height, standing, etc, what will be the age, the kind of things holding in hand, the bow and arrow, etc. Out of the three murthis given by the sculptors - one will be selected by group of trustees that will be installed here."
"The prayer and installation ceremony would start from January 14 2024 and then on the date we have invited honourable PM, we are yet to hear from him. Going up to 24th, any day that he decided we will do the final Prana Pratishtha when the Lord will show up here and from the next date the devotees will start coming and have darshan. Just in front of Lord Ram, the present Bhagwan who is there will be brought and placed. You'll have standing Ram Lalla and you'll have Ram Lalla which was there, which suddenly people believe it appeared," he added.
Realising the long-cherished dream of millions
Shedding light on the arrangements made for devotees to start pouring in and offering their prayers in the grand Ram Mandir after the Prana Pratishtha, Misra noted that some portions of the temple will be barricaded. He stated that by December 2023, the majestic dome that will crown the temple will be completed.
One of the most significant architectural features is the Shikhar, which extends to the second floor. For the safety and convenience of devotees, a steel structure will be erected to facilitate a close and safe darshan experience.
Devotees will be organized into orderly lines, with two rows on each side, allowing them to stand within 25 feet of the deity for a brief but profoundly spiritual moment. The duration of their darshan is not merely a matter of calculation but a testament to the faith of the devotees.
About 1,25,000 devotees expected
Misra noted that an estimated 125,000 visitors are expected daily and with the temple open for 12 hours, each devotee will have about 25 seconds in the divine presence of Lord Ram. On the auspicious occasion of Ram Navami, when the number of devotees may swell to 300,000 to 500,000, this time may be reduced to 17 seconds.
"Ram Navami Day also becomes important because that is the day we are ensuring that at 12 PM the sun rays come and enter through the Shikhar and then it gets diverted to fall on the forehead of Lord Ram," added Misra.
This celestial event has been meticulously calculated and verified by the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) and their astrophysics department in Pune. A computerized gadget is being developed to ensure that this divine occurrence is witnessed by all.
Misra noted that to accommodate the throngs of devotees eager to witness this celestial phenomenon, screens will be strategically placed throughout the Ram Mandir complex, allowing everyone to partake in the divine moment, even if they are unable to physically stand in front of Lord Ram.
In this remarkable journey towards the completion of the Ram Mandir, faith, dedication, and meticulous planning have converged to create a space that will inspire devotion and reverence for generations to come. Ayodhya's sanctum sanctorum, with its rich history and divine aura, is set to become a beacon of spirituality and a testament to the enduring faith of millions.