“Working on Ram Mandir since 1989” : Sompuras

The highly-anticipated, ‘magnificent’ Ram Mandir that millions of Hindus are eagerly waiting for is soon set to become a reality after Prime Minister Narendra lays the foundation stone for the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya on August 5.

Construction of Ram Mandir
Ram Mandir
Ram mandir architect

Three decades ago, celebrated temple architect Chandrakant Sompura had taken measurements of the Ram Janmabhoomi site with his feet to make design for a grand temple. The septuagenarian had his hands folded in gratitude after the
Ayodhya verdict.

On Saturday as the order would give him the honour of seeing the design take shape of a glorious Ram mandir.

Vishva Hindu Parishad chief Ashok Singhal has entrusted renowned architect Chandrakant Sompura and his sons the responsibility to design the Ram Mandir.

The completion of the temple is expected to take around three-and-a-half years.
Times Now caught up with son Ashish Sompura to know the details of the temple, and according to the blueprint of the structure, the Mandir is set to have the form of a ‘Naga’.

Work on nearly 40% of the carved stone blocks for the temple is complete. Artisans have been working at 10 to 12 locations to build various elements for the temple,” said Sompura.

Usually, it takes between 24 and 30 months to complete the construction of a temple once its foundation has been laid,” Sompura’s son Ashish said.

We will start the work around Ram Navami next year. The government needs to constitute a committee which will take some time and once all the court mandated requirements are met with, we will start the work, ideally around April 2020,” says Chandrakant Sompura, the ‘chief architect’ of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.

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The foundation work of the temple
Ram mandir
Architecture of Ram Mandir. (Pic credit: Bhaskar.com)

The proposed site is close to the river Sarayu. The temple has been conceived in the Nagara style, the prominent architectural genre of north India. Sompura said that most of the famous temples of Gujarat, from Modhera’s Sun temple to Somnath, follow the Nagara aesthetic.

“This (Nagara) style is prevalent across north India but not in South India. The sanctum sanctorum of the temple is in the shape of an octagon. The perimeter of the temple is circular,” he added.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had approached him to create a draft plan for the temple in 1989. “The draft was approved at the ‘Dharam Sansad’ at a Kumbh Mela in the early nineties, after which work on sculpting the stones began,” Sompura said.

Also Read: Vishwa Hindu Parishad President irritated at Uddhav’s suggestion of e-Bhoomi Pujan for Ram temple

The Sampras
Ram mandir
Nagapura style architecture

The Sompuras have been temple architects for almost six centuries and have employed the Nagar Style of temple architecture (prevalent across north, west and central India) in almost all their creations. The family’s former patriarch, Late Prabhashankarbhai Oghadbhai Sompura, had designed the famous Somnath Temple in post-independence India.

He has authored 12 books on temple architecture and was also awarded the Padmashree. Such a rich legacy brought in more work for the family, who were roped in by the Birlas to build their famous Birla Mandirs, for the Akshardham in Gandhinagar and a World Record breaking Swami Narayan Temple in London.

When Chandrakant Sompura was working on the Birla Temple in the late 80s and early 90s, he came across VHP’s Ashok Singhal.

Passed through Generations

Chandrakant Sompura started learning the ropes of temple design, including the nuances of Vastu shastra, as a child from his grandfather Prabhashankar Sompura, said Ashish.

My (great) grandfather Prabhashankar designed the Somnath temple. He has written 14 books on the Shilpa shastras. He had been awarded the Padma Shri,” he added.

My (great) grandfather Prabhashankar designed the Somnath temple. He has written 14 books on the Shilpa shastras. He had been awarded the Padma Shri,” he added.