PM Modi Conceived 'Surya Tilak' Ceremony At Ram Temple: Construction Panel Head

Nripendra Mishra, the chairman of the Ayodhya Ram Temple Construction Committee, said the PM wanted a blend of ancient and modern technologies.

Mr Misra said the trust intends to ensure that the 'Surya Tilak' ceremony is held every year.

The 'Surya Tilak' ceremony on Ram Navami today, during which the forehead of the idol of Ram Lalla was anointed with a ray of sunlight, was conceived by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who wanted the temple in Ayodhya to be a blend of ancient and modern technology, the temple's construction committee head has said. 

Speaking exclusively to NDTV today, Nripendra Misra, the chairman of the Ayodhya Ram Temple Construction Committee, also said that the 'Surya Tilak' ceremony will take place every year. 

As part of the ceremony, a ray of sunlight, with a diameter of 5.8 cm, adorned the forehead of Ram Lalla idol for three to three-and-a-half minutes starting at noon today. The feat required inputs from 10 eminent scientists, who used a combination of mirrors and lenses to precisely direct the light beam.

Speaking about the origins of the idea, Mr Misra said, "It was entirely the idea of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In one of our conversations, the PM suggested that while there is a great deal of emphasis on the use of ancient technology to make the temple durable for 1,000 years, new technologies should also be used. This was one of the ideas. He has a certain vision about technology and is comfortable with, and receptive to, new technologies. 

"He told me 'Why don't you talk to the Central Building Research Institute and CSIR (Council of Scientific & Industrial Research)?' After I got back to my office, I got a call from the director-general of CSIR within an hour, who said he had got a call from the PM. So you can visualise the kind of follow-up the PM does, but he does so from a distance. He doesn't interfere or dictate, but influences you in a manner that you get a sense of belief about what is possible and what isn't," he added. 

Mr Misra said that the Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra trust intends to ensure that the 'Surya Tilak' ceremony is held every Ram Navami.

"The 'Surya Tilak' ceremony was a much-talked-about event and there is a sense of satisfaction. We have to ensure this happens every year. This time, we had to make a few adjustments because the construction of the 'shikhar' (spire over the sanctum sanctorum) has not been completed. When that is done, a permanent aperture will be made calculating the direction and angle of the sun's rays. By next year, it will be 100% fool-proof," the construction committee's chief revealed. 

The former bureaucrat said he was expecting a much bigger crowd on Ram Navami but that probably did not happen because schools are open and the harvesting season is underway. On the status of construction, he said the process is a challenge because of the high number of people who visit the temple every day. 

"We have to ensure devotees' safety. Only the first and second floors are left now and we are getting everyone's support. The way we worked in 2023, we will complete the construction by the end of 2024," he said.