Ayodhya witnessed a momentous occasion as the newly consecrated idol of Lord Ram, affectionately named ‘Balak Ram,’ took center stage at the Ram Temple. The consecration ceremony, held on January 22, marked a significant step in the realization of this historic project.
Crafted by sculptor Arun Yogiraj from Mysuru, the 51-inch statue stands as a masterpiece hewn from a three-billion-year-old rock. The choice of azure-colored Krishna Shile, or black schist, extracted from Gujjegowdanapura in Jayapura Hobli, Mysuru, adds a unique touch to the sculpture. This metamorphic rock, often referred to as soapstone for its smooth texture, proves ideal for sculptors in creating intricate idols.
‘Balak Ram’ captivates not only through its geological origins but also through its attire. Adorned with Banarasi fabric, the idol wears a yellow dhoti and a vibrant red ‘pataka’ or ‘angavastram.’ The ‘angavastram’ is embellished with pure gold ‘zari’ and threads, featuring auspicious Vaishnav symbols such as ‘shankh,’ ‘padma,’ ‘chakra,’ and ‘mayur.’
The consecration ceremony, graced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, marked a monumental occasion for devotees. The name ‘Balak Ram’ holds significance, as explained by Arun Dixit, a priest associated with the ceremony, emphasizing the portrayal of Lord Ram as a five-year-old boy in a standing posture.
About Ayodhya’s Ram Temple:
A trio of skilled sculptors—Ganesh Bhatt, Yogiraj, and Satyanarayan Pandey—contributed to crafting the Rama Lalla idols for the temple. One of these idols takes its place in the sanctum sanctorum, while the remaining two find their positions in other sections of the temple.
Following the grand ‘pran pratishtha’ ceremony led by Prime Minister Modi, the doors of the Ram Mandir opened to the general public on Tuesday. A surge of devotees, including locals and individuals from other states, eagerly gathered outside the temple gates since Monday night under tight security measures. The former idol of Ram Lalla, previously housed in a makeshift shrine, now stands prominently in front of the newly consecrated ‘Balak Ram’ idol.
As Ayodhya welcomes a new chapter in its history with the grandeur of the Ram Temple, the devout gather to seek blessings and witness the culmination of a long-cherished dream. The resonance of devotion and cultural significance echoes through the temple precincts, inviting believers from far and wide to partake in this momentous celebration.