This Article is From Jan 23, 2024

Ram Lalla Idol At Ayodhya Carved Out Of 2.5 Billion-Year-Old Black Granite

The stone used to create the 51-inch Ram Lalla idol is special black granite brought all the way from Karnataka.

Ram Lalla Idol At Ayodhya Carved Out Of 2.5 Billion-Year-Old Black Granite

The stone to create Ram Lalla idol was chosen from Karnataka

New Delhi:

The idol of Ram Lalla or infant Lord Ram found a home on Monday with a Pran Pratishtha ceremony by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the new Ayodhya temple. The stone used to create the 51-inch idol is special black granite brought all the way from Karnataka.

"The stone is 2.5 billion years old," confirms HS Venkatesh, Director of the National Institute of Rock Mechanics (NIRM), Bengaluru, the national facility that helped in testing the stone using physico-mechanical analysis. The NIRM is the nodal agency to test rocks for Indian dams and nuclear power plants.

Dr Venkatesh says, "The rock is highly durable and resistant to climatic variation and will sustain thousands of years in this subtropical zone with minimum maintenance."

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Most granitic rocks formed when molten lava cooled down after the earth was formed. The granite is a very hard material.

The Ram Temple has been constructed using traditional architectural designs and highest quality stones, yet it incorporates modern science and engineering techniques to make it durable, says Union Science Minister Jitendra Singh. "It has been designed to last for more than 1,000 years," he adds.

The stone was chosen from the village Jayapura Hobli in Mysuru district, a region known for high quality granite mines.

The rock is dated to the pre-Cambrian era, which is estimated to have begun some four billion plus years ago. The earth is estimated to have originated some 4.5 billion years ago. The black granite rock from which the Ram Lalla statue has been sculpted has seen at least half or more of earth's history.

Early humans appeared on earth about 14 million years ago and the humans as we see today - the species Homo sapiens - are only 300,000 years old. Scientists estimate that life originated on earth some 4 billion years ago.

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The stone was carved into a beautiful idol by 38-year-old Arun Yogiraj from Mysuru, who belongs to a family of five generations of sculptors. It took him about six months to craft the Ram Lala statue. Among his other well-known masterpieces is the 30-feet black stone statue of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose at India Gate in Delhi.

The NIRM, which helped assess the granite block with its testing laboratories at Kolar Gold Fields, told Nripendra Misra, chairperson of the temple construction committee, that the rock was "massive, melanocratic and uniform in colour". The stone is fine-grained, hard, compact and has high compressive strength, tensile strength, bending strength, breaking strength and elasticity. 

The rock's qualities make it amenable for any kind of carving, Dr Venkatesh says. "In addition the rock possess high density, low porosity and water absorption with high P wave velocity, it is devoid of any internal cracks and fractures."

The stone does not absorb water or react with carbon.