The sanctum sanctorum of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya will be opened for devotees by the end of 2023, a Hindustan Times report said.
The announcement came after a meeting of the 15-member Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust with engineers and architects. The meeting was chaired by trust chief Nripendra Misra, who wrapped up a two-day visit to Ayodhya, the report said,
The announcement becomes significant in the wake of the fact that the child deity was kept in a makeshift structure since December 1949, when it was first installed inside the Babri mosque by a crowd of Hindutva leaders.
In March, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had presided over a ceremony to move the idol of Lord Ram from a tin structure where it was kept for decades to a new fiber one.
“It is expected that the (foundation laying) work will finish by October. All engineers and labourers involved in this work are safe & healthy,” the Shri Ram Janambhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust had said in a tweet last month.
The secretary of the Trust, Champat Rai, added that the work was going on in two shifts round-the-clock in order to ensure that the temple is constructed at the earliest and the Covid-19 pandemic has not impacted the work. Construction companies Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Balaji Construction and Tata Consultants Engineers in the role of consultant are working on the project, while Chandrakant Sompura is the architect.
“Construction work on the 70-acre temple complex will be completed by the end of 2025. Then the entire temple campus will be opened for devotees,” Rai told Hindustan Times.
Sandstone from UP's Mirzapur and Rajasthan's Jodhpur, marble from Rajasthan's Makrana and pink stone from Rajasthan's Bansi Paharpur is being used for the temple construction. The 70-acre complex is also being built with the provision of rainwater harvesting to ensure it is echo friendly.