A month after the bhoomi pujan for the temple of Ram in Ayodhya, its construction has gained momentum with the arrival of machines to carry out drilling operations for the base pillars.
Members of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra trust, formed to facilitate the construction of the temple where the Babri mosque once stood, said the premises will have 1,200 pillars with a depth of 200 feet.
According to its design, the temple will be 161 feet tall.
Sources said around 50 employees of construction giant Larsen & Toubro, which is building the temple, are in Ayodhya.
After the bhoomi pujan, the trust turned its attention to paper work related to ownership, site map and others. On August 29, it submitted a proposed map of the temple along with 4,000 pages of documents to the Ayodhya Development Authority (ADA). The map was based on the Nagar architecture and was submitted offline due to a technical snag.
The proposed map included a detailed plan of the temple site spread over 2,74,110 square metres or 67 acres.
The trust claimed that all fire and electricity safety approvals have been taken from the authorities. Approval has also been granted for earthquake resistant measures for the structure.
While submitting the map to ADA, the trust said the temple does not qualify for the height restriction by the Airports Authority of India as it is 6.5 km away from the Ayodhya airstrip against the prescribed 4.1 km.
Similarly, in its submission to ADA, the trust said no NOC from the Archaeological Department is required as three places of historical importance—Mani Parvat, Kuber Parvat and Sugreev Parvat—are located in the southern part of the city.
The ADA confirmed on Wednesday that it has approved the map and that the land comes under the purpose category of religious/fair ground, orchard, tourist residence or spiritual ground.
The trust has deposited Rs 2.11 crore in development charges, maintenance fees and labour cess to ADA.
Trust member Kameshwar Chaupal told The Sunday Express that the map contains every construction detail—from the exact spot of each pillar to its load capacity.
To avoid overcrowding, the temple will have four gates in three directions, he had earlier said. The temple will be spacious enough to handle over 1 lakh devotees, said Chaupal.
According to the map, a 30-metre wide approach road will lead to the temple. Of the total area of 12,879.30 square metres, 2,628.50 sq metres is accounted for the temple, 7,343.50 sq metres for the corridors on the ground floor, 1,850.70 for the first floor and 1.56.60 for the second floor.
Sources confirmed that several stones engraved with the names of important temples will remain at the entrance. The head priest of the Ram Lalla temple, Mahant Satyendra Das, told The Sunday Express that there are 85 such stones and three of them will remain in the temple.
“In the past, there were stones installed at the entrances of all the main temples and spots of religious importance. We have found around 85 such stones so far… Three of them marked as Sumitra Bhawan, Sita Rasoi and the Ram Janmabhoomi will be inside the temple. The Ram Janmabhoomi stone is the closest to the garbhgrih (sanctum sanctorum)—less than 100 metres—and we have not touched it. Removing that will change the whole look and meaning of the garbhgrih,” said the Mahant.
He said the rest of the stones will not be touched as devotees may offer prayers to them too.