February 14, 2022
Construction work for the proposed Viraat Ramayan Mandir, which could become the world’s largest Hindu temple once completed, is set to start at Kesaria, East Champaran district, in Bihar on the Ram-Janaki Path connecting Ayodhya with Janakpur.
Inspired by the Central Vista Project in New Delhi, Mahavir Mandir Trust is planning to float a revised tender to ensure that the construction has a longevity of a minimum of 250 years, not 100 years as planned earlier.
“Some of the companies involved with the Central Vista Project might work for the Virat Ramayan Mandir also due to their expertise in building constructions with a minimum of 250-year longevity. Former director general of Central Public Works Department (CPWD) Mohit Kumar Jaiswal has been made the chief adviser of the technical cell for the project.
As such a construction is possible, we also thought we should not compromise with less,” said Mahavir Mandir Trust secretary Acharya Kishore Kunal.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar unveiled the temple model at Mahavir Mandir at a function inaugurated by Dwarka Peeth Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopananda Saraswati in November 2013. However, it got delayed due to objections by the Cambodian government to the Indian government. The Cambodian government protested over its design, claiming that the proposed temple was a replica of the 12th century Angkor Wat temple. Angkor Wat is a Unesco World Heritage site.
The project almost coincided with the construction of the Statue of Unity in Gujarat prior to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, which saw the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) breaking alliance with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and joining hands with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in Bihar. The Statue of Unity, a Gujarat government project, was ready in 2018, but the temple, an initiative of Mahavir Mandir Trust, got stuck due to international issues and later some land acquisition matters. Trust secretary Kunal, a retired IPS officer, said that with all the issues resolved now following some design modifications and several rounds of talks, the work will begin with the pace within a couple of months.
“The trust has already acquired 100 acres and 25 acres are in the pipeline with money paid. We have also obtained clearance from the Green Tribunal. As we now want to build it with the latest technology that could ensure higher longevity, we will revise the tender,” he added.
The 270-feet high temple will be built at Janaki Nagar near Kesaria, around 130km from Patna with design modifications following objections by the Cambodian authorities. Kunal said that the issue is now over and the grand structure with 13 domes will have 20,000 seating capacity in the hall facing the main temple, which will house the statues of Lord Ram, Sita, Lav, and Kush.
The Shiva temple, the first of the 18 temples to be completed, will have the world’s largest Shiv Ling with 250 metric tonne weight, 33 feet height, and 33 feet width. The existing biggest Shiv Ling is in Tanjavur (Tamil Nadu), built by the Chola dynasty king Rajraja.
“The Shiv Ling is already being made at Mahabalipuram. It will be quite a task to bring it to Kesaria, but that will be done,” said Kunal.
Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra looked into the field-level progress of the works under the ...