Mrunal Manmay Dash

God works in mysterious ways. Odia engineer Prafulla Patnaik who works at the Ram Mandir project in Ayodhya discovered it in the most subtle way he could possibly imagine.

Patnaik's tryst with the divinity and Lord Ram began a year back when he went to Srimandir in Puri to get a glimpse of his beloved Lord Jagannath. He not only availed the darshan of Lord Jagannath, but he was pleasantly surprised to find a Ram Temple inside the Srimandir too.

Speaking about his divine experience, Patnaik said, “You can say it a coincidence or God’s wish. When I was in Odisha last year, I had gone to Puri for the darshan of Lord Jagannath. I have been to Srimandir many times before, but never knew there is a Ram temple in there too. I had never seen it. But this time around, when I made my entry to the Srimandir through Singhadwara, I saw the Ram Temple on the left side near Jambeswar Mahadev Temple.”

“I bowed down at the Temple, availed darshan of Lord Jagannath and returned home. Then it was business as usual. But I was up for an absolute surprise when I got a call from Ayodhya the very next day, saying, “You have been called by Shree Ram to serve him. I joined the dots and was convinced it is my divine calling,” Patnaik said.

It is pertinent to mention here that the magnificent architectural marvel, Ram Temple, is taking shape and scores of artisans and workers from various states like Odisha, Bihar, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and others are putting in their contributions. The workers are working in shifts and there are others who are contributing as volunteers.

Apart from engineers, the artisans from Odisha are working very hard and have contributed immensely to stone carving on pillars and drawing iconographic figures of idols.

The grand consecration ceremony of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya will be held on January 22, 2024.