Himansu Shekhar Rout

With the Pran Pratishtha ceremony of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya slated for January 22, a new technology is being used to add shining divinity to Lord Ram's idol. Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) has developed a unique system known as the optomechanical system to ensure that a 'tilak' appears on the forehead of the idol in the sanctum sanctorum through sunlight reflection with the use of mirrors and lenses.

Lord Ram being from the Suryavanshi dynasty, wearing Surya tilak is regarded as a mark of identity and glory of the clan.

However, the phenomenon of adding Surya Tilak on Lord Ram’s forehead will come into display on Ram Navami every year. 

This is a mechanical system that doesn’t require electricity or battery, but brass. 

Significantly, such a system which has been developed under the project - 'Surya Rashmiyon Ka Tilak' (anointment by sun rays) - has an Odisha link.  The project is headed by an Odia scientist Saroj Kumar Panigrahi hailing from Paralakhemudi and it is a matter of pride for Odisha.

Speaking to OTV, Panigrahi, the chief scientist and principal investigator of the project, said, “The Sun moves from the east direction to the west. The noon time at Ayodhya is 12:04 pm. Our technology is to garner the sunlight and redirect it through high-quality mirrors and lenses into the sanctum sanctorum. The circular ‘tilak’ will be focused on Lord Ram’s forehead at noon for three to four minutes on Ram Navami in the Chaitra month, he added. 

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The optomechanical system is being installed on the temple’s third floor while the Indian Institute of Astrophysics has provided consultancy to CBRI for the optical design. 

He expressed his happiness in being a part of the project. “This is a small project component. I feel happy and proud to be part of the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya,” Panigrahi added.