On each Ram Navami, the Sun will do the ‘tilak’ of the idol of Ram Lalla installed in the sanctum sanctorum of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
This scientific feat will be achieved with the aid of sunlight, mirrors, and lenses, all thanks to the scientists at Roorkee’s Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) who have crafted a unique system for the newly-constructed Ram temple.
The first display is scheduled for Ram Navami on March 29, marking Ram’s birth anniversary according to the Hindu lunar calendar.
The project – ‘Surya Rashmiyon Ka Tilak’ (anointment by sun rays) – is a mechanical system requiring no electricity or battery and is made exclusively using brass instead of iron or steel.
SK Panigrahi, the Chief Scientist and principal investigator of the project, said, “We used only brass in making our manually-operated system.”
The circular ‘tilak’, measuring 75 mm, will grace Lord Ram's forehead at noon for three to four minutes on Ram Navami in the Chaitra month, using sunlight redirected by the system.
This arrangement is planned only for the occasion of Ram Navami every year.
The optomechanical system, set to be installed on the temple’s third floor, incorporates high-quality mirrors (M1 and M2), a lens (L1), and vertical piping with lenses (L2 and L3) fixed at specific angles. Ground floor components include mirrors (M3 & M4) and a lens (L4).
Panigrahi said, “Sunlight falls on M1, travels through L1, M2, L1, L2, M3 (installed outside the garbha-griha), and finally on M4, bringing a ‘tilak’ on the forehead of the idol.”
The Bengaluru-based Optics & Allied Engineering Pvt Ltd has handled the fabrication of mirrors, lenses, and tilt mechanism for the temple at no cost.
The Indian Institute of Astrophysics provided consultancy to CBRI for the optical design.
The CBRI team developed the mechanism to adapt to the changing position of the Sun in the sky on Ram Navami.
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