AYODHYA: The dozen-odd artisans working at the ‘Karyashala’ (workshop) in the temple town say they have completed the carving and structuring work for the ground floor of the proposed Ram temple.
“The stone work for the ground floor of the temple has been completed,” said Rajnikant, a worker, while chiselling out intricate designs on a pillar meant for the first floor of the proposed temple.
“We are now working on the designs for the first floor and the ceiling of the ground floor, which will have floral patterns,” Rajnikant told IANS.
Hailing from Surendranagar district in Gujarat, Rajnikant is a member of a team working almost round-the-clock here for the last five years on the orders of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP).
Employed for a daily wage of Rs 400 plus food and lodging, Rajnikant said the temple structure being carved out by them would be complete in a month.
“Whenever Modi ‘bhai’ orders, we will shift these pillars, beams and other structures to build the Ram temple,” he said, as scores of pilgrims surrounding him applauded in appreciation.
A short distance away is a huge rusted machine for cutting big slabs of ‘Dholpur stone’ that are being transported from Karsevakpuram, where the raw material from Jaipur arrives.
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A VHP office-bearer said the proposed Ram temple will be four-storeyed. The first floor will be 18-ft high, the second and third floor almost 16 feet each, topped by a a 65-ft high dome. The temple, which will have 212 pillars, of which 106 will be on the first floor and are now ready, will have a forecourt, Singhdwar, Nritya Mandap, Rang Mandap, Garbh Griha or the sanctum sanctorum (where the idol of Ram Lalla is proposed to be kept) and an eight-ft high and 10-ft wide ‘Parikrama Marg.’
Another artisan said over 1 lakh cubic feet of work is complete while another 75,000 cubic feet of work is in progress.
Ram Chandra Semant Rai, a retired college principal from Balasore in Odisha who came to the workshop out of curiosity, said, “After seeing the pace of the work, I’m sure that I will get to see the Ram temple in place before my last breath.”
In a corner, a wooden model of the proposed temple is placed and below it is a donation box filled with various denominations of banknotes.
Swadesh, a VHP worker who hands out receipts, said on an average day, total donations amount to around Rs 6,000-Rs 7,000, and go up to Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000 on festive days.