Ram Mandir Architecture: A Story Beyond Brick and Mortar

Article of the Month - Jan 2024

This article by Anviti Sohla

(Viewed 643 times since Jan 2024)

The construction of the Ram Mandir has been completed to a great extent and the temple is finally nearing the day of its inauguration. With this development, the eyes of the entire world are on how the temple is turning out. It has been going on under the guidance of Chandrakantbhai Sompura who designed the Akshardham Temple in Gujarat. He is being assisted by his two sons Nikhil Sompura and Ashish Sompura.

There are questions about every aspect of the construction and we have tried to answer most of them. 


Materials Used in the Construction - 

It seems like the entire country has come together for the construction of the temple. The pink sandstone from Rajasthan was carved by artisans from Orissa for the main temple complex. The granite has been brought in from Karnataka. Teakwood of high quality for the woodwork has been sourced specially from Maharashtra. In addition to that, bells that will be part of the temple rituals came from Tamil Nadu, and the brassware was procured from Uttar Pradesh. 

Big names like IIT and Central Building Research Institute are associated with the construction of the temple. In fact, Larsen and Toubro is even offering its services pro bono. 


Architecture Style and Features -

The architecture of the temple has been influenced from not just North Indian style but also by the South Indian style and the design has been done keeping the guidelines of Vastu Shastra and Shilpa Shastra in mind.

Mainly, the Nagara style of architecture is being implemented for the construction of the prestigious Ram Mandir. Many temples in India have already been constructed in this style like the Sun Temple in Konark and the temples of Khajuraho. Along with this, some elements from the Dravidian style of architecture have also been taken and will be reflected in the four temples that will be at the corners of the main complex. Common features of the Nagara style of architecture include - 

  • A Garbhagriha which is the main room where the idols of the main deities are placed for worship,
  • Mandapa, an assembly hall which is traditionally supposed to be at the entrance in front of the garbhagriha,
  • A Shikhara which is a spire at the top of the temple,
  • A Vahana which is the mount of the main deity, and
  • A Jagati which is a raised platform upon which the temple complex is constructed.


The temple will have 5 mandapas along with one towering Shikhar. The main deity of the temple will be Ram Lalla which is the infant form of Lord Ram. There will also be a 14-feet-wide percota that will have corners dedicated to Lord Ganesha, Lord Shiva, Maa Bhagwati, and Surya Dev.

There will be three storeys in the temple and all of them will have a height of at least 20 feet.


In addition to that, more than 300 intricately carved columns will be dedicated to various Gods and Goddesses, like Lord Vishnu and all of his 10 avatars, Devi Saraswati and all her incarnations, Lord Hanuman, the different incarnations of Lord Shiva.

Columns will also be dedicated to sages like Maharishi Valmiki, Maharishi Vishwamitra, Maharishi Agastya, Maharishi Vashisht, and Nishadraj the boatman who helped Lord Ram in crossing river Ganga, and Mata Shabri who served berries to Lord Ram during his exile.

The ground floor has over 150 pillars and exquisitely intricate carvings are done on each pillar. A very beautiful addition to the temple will be the lower plinth which will feature depictions from the Ramayana. 


All of this will be part of the main temple complex which will be constructed in 10 acres. The area surrounding this will be spread across 57 acres. The sprawling complex will be very spacious and it will be able to accommodate at least 70,000 devotees at a time which is quite impressive number. 


Striking Features About the Construction Process -

A notable feature is that iron is not being used at all in the construction process. Even the binding of stones is being done by copper plates.

More than two lakh bricks collected from all over India almost thirty years ago, with Sri Ram engraved on them, have been used in the foundation.

The use of modern materials like carbon fiber and steel has been avoided completely. The reason why steel has been avoided is because it is prone to corrosion and is not very durable.


Challenges faced in the construction of Ram Mandir -

The soil was loose because of the river Sarayu flowing next to the land. This prevented the foundation of the temple from being solid. To overcome this the sand was removed completely and the empty area was filled with a mixture of concrete to create a foundation that was strong and sturdy. This concrete mixture was created without any use of iron. 


Another challenge faced was that while the architects wanted to build the Ram Mandir along the lines of the architecture of ancient temples, they did not have any blueprints of their designs. The architects did not have any written guidelines to follow. They had to come up with new designs and details based on their existing knowledge. 


Wrapping Up - 

From the style of architecture being inspired by ancient temples to the exclusion of the use of modern materials, the Ayodhya Ram Mandir is connected to the roots of India in every aspect of its construction. It is an architectural marvel that has already made its place in the hearts of millions of people who wait for its inauguration with bated breath. 

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