# ISRO scientists contribute to the Ram Temple structure
# No steel or iron used in construction
RNS: The magnificent Ram Temple in Ayodhya exemplifies India’s rich cultural legacy, combining age-old architectural traditions with cutting-edge engineering techniques to assure its longevity for over a millennium.
Nripendra Misra, Chairperson of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust’s temple construction committee, confidently proclaims that the temple was precisely planned to withstand the test of time for more than a thousand years. To maintain its longevity, the temple avoided using iron or steel, which have a normal lifespan of 80-90 years.
Dr Pradeep Kumar Ramancharla, Director of the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) in Roorkee and a key contributor in the construction project, discusses the temple’s construction procedures.
The construction is made of high-quality granite, sandstone, and marble, and instead of cement or lime mortar, it uses a lock-and-key mechanism with grooves and ridges in the joints. Furthermore, the temple’s three-story structure is designed to endure an earthquake with a return period of 2,500 years.
Top Indian scientists contributed to this famous building, which incorporates cutting-edge technology from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The architectural design, based on the Nagar Shaily or northern Indian temple design, was expertly sculpted by Chandrakant Sompura, who comes from a 15-generation lineage of heritage temple designers.
According to the reports, with over 100 temples to their credit, Sompura praises the Shri Ram Temple as a one-of-a-kind, magnificent creation that outperforms anything ever imagined in India or anywhere else on the planet.
Spanning an impressive 2.7 acres, with a built-up area of approximately 57,000 square feet, the temple will feature three floors and reach a height of 161 feet, equivalent to around 70% of the Qutab Minar’s height.
However, the construction of the temple faced a unique challenge due to the sandy and unstable ground beneath it, stemming from the proximity of the Sarayu River in the past. Scientists devised a clever solution, excavating the entire temple area to a depth of 15 meters.
Ramancharla elaborates, “An engineered soil was laid to a depth of 12-14 meters, without the use of steel re-bars. The 47-layered bases were compacted to achieve a rock-like solidity.” To further strengthen the foundation, a 6.3-meter-thick plinth of solid granite stone from southern India was added.
The visible portions of the temple are crafted from pink sandstone known as ‘Bansi Paharpur,’ sourced from Rajasthan. The Central Building Research Institute reports that the temple comprises 160 columns on the ground floor, 132 on the first floor, and 74 on the second floor, all meticulously carved from sandstone. The sanctum sanctorum is adorned with white makrana marble quarried from Rajasthan, the same marble used in the construction of the Taj Mahal.
Incorporating state-of-the-art knowledge and analysis from around 50 computer models, the chosen architectural model preserves the Nagara style while ensuring both performance and structural integrity. Notably, the dry-jointed structure, designed for a 1000-year lifespan, relies solely on interlocked stone, eschewing steel reinforcement.
The Central Building Research Institute has been actively involved in the temple’s construction since early 2020, contributing to the structural design of the main temple, the design of the ‘Surya Tilak’ mechanism, vetting the temple’s foundation design, and monitoring the structural health of the main temple.
Dr. Sharda Srinivasan, an archaeologist specialising in heritage metals working at the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bengaluru, points out that the traditional temple architecture of earlier periods often used dry masonry without mortar or iron and steel.
The Mortis and Tenon method, employing interlocking grooves and pegs, was prevalent in holding stone blocks together. This ancient technique is mirrored in the colossal feat of the sandstone Ram Temple, which also benefits from the sandstone’s robust tensile strength to support its trabeate structure.
Ramancharla firmly asserts, “The temple may have heritage architecture as its base, but it incorporates the most modern finite element analysis, the most sophisticated software tools, and adheres to 21st-century building codes.:
There can be no doubt that, based on the current state-of-the-art knowledge, the Ram Mandir will surely survive for more than a thousand years,” he added.
With its melding of heritage and science, the Ram Temple stands as a testament to India’s rich cultural legacy and its commitment to preserving it for generations to come.