Non-Selected Ram Lalla Sculptures to Find a Place Within the Temple 

Priyanshi Pareek

The black stone idol of Ram Lalla, crafted by Mysuru sculptor Arun Yogiraj, has been successfully installed in the sanctum sanctorum of the grand Ayodhya temple. Meanwhile, two additional idols currently under consideration will find their places in other sections of the temple.

One of them is a white marble idol carved by Rajasthan’s Satyanarayan Pandey. The trust currently holds the idol, portraying Ram Lalla with a golden bow and arrow. Positioned behind the deity is an arch-like structure adorned with smaller sculptures depicting various incarnations of Lord Vishnu. The idol showcases exceptional craftsmanship, with marble chiselled to create intricate jewellery and clothing for the deity. The dimensions of the idol adhere to the specifications set by the trust overseeing the temple construction.

Another idol, carved from a unique black stone by sculptor Ganesh Bhatt.

The Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has provided compensation to all three sculptors. The two idols that couldn’t make it to the sanctum sanctorum will now be installed within the temple complex. Vinod Bansal of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad stated, “We have respectfully accepted all three idols, even though only one could be placed in the Garbha Griha.”

The trust has chosen the 51-inch Ram Lalla idol, crafted by Mysuru-based sculptor Arun Yogiraj, for the sanctum sanctorum among the three commissioned. Vinod Bansal mentioned that the idols by Ganesh Bhatt and Satyanarayan Pandey will also be prominently placed within the temple complex, with their specific locations to be disclosed at an appropriate time. Certain sections of the temple complex are still under construction, scheduled to be completed by December 2025.

Bhatt and Pandey expressed no disappointment that their Ram Lalla idols weren’t chosen for the sanctum sanctorum, asserting pride in their unique creations. Both sculptors have been invited by the trust to attend Monday’s consecration ceremony, joining Yogiraj in commemorating their contributions.

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