Ayodhya (UP): All three idols of Ram Lalla (child form of Lord Ram) will be ready for final selection by a five-member committee of prominent seers of the ‘Ramanandi’ Sampradaya (sect) in mid-December.
Three renowned sculptors are busy giving final touches to the idols in Ayodhya at separate locations, behind closed doors which are out of bounds for common people.
Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirath Kshetra Trust has constituted the panel that will select one of the three idols that will be enthroned at the Ram temple’s sanctum-sanctorum next month.
It is most likely that the three idols will be ready between December 15 and 20 to go through the selection process.
Kameshwar Chaupal, a member of the Trust, said, “Ram Lalla’s idol that is aesthetically closer to the deity will be selected. The 51-inch idol must resemble the five-year-old Ram Lalla.”
Mahant Kamal Nayan Das, who is part of the panel that will select the idol, said, “The idol must be a replica of five-year-old Ram Lalla. Selecting one idol out of the three will not be easy. The only criterion will be its resemblance to Ram Lalla.”
Two other members of the committee are Mithilesh Nandani Sharanji and Jagadguru Ramanandacharya. All three idols of Ram Lalla will be based on the sketch of renowned Mumbai-based artist Vasudeo Kamath.
He had presented pencil-made sketches of Ram Lalla to Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust.
Born in Karkala, a nondescript town in Karnataka, Kamath grew up in Mumbai. His 28 paintings that form his Ramayana series are globally acclaimed. Kamath is known for his paintings based on mythology and historical subjects.
He still practises the rare art of creating portraits from actual sittings.
The Trust will reveal the finally selected idol before the people of Ayodhya in a Shobha Yatra on January 17, 2024, before placing it at the sanctum-sanctorum of the Ram temple.
From January 18, five-day rituals of Pran Pratishtha (consecration) ceremony of Ram Lalla will start and will end on January 22.
The Trust has roped in three renowned sculptors of the country to carve out the idol. Ganesh Bhatt of Karnataka is carving out the idol from Nellikaru rocks (black stones) which are also known as ‘Shyam Shila’ or ‘Krishna Shila’ due to resemblance of their colour to that of Lord Krishna.
Famous sculptor Arun Yogiraj of Mysore is carving out the idol from another rock sourced from Karnataka. Yogiraj had also carved out a 12-ft statue of Adi Shankaracharya in Kedarnath that was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year.
He is the son of famous sculptor Yogiraj Shilpi and hails from a family of Mysore palace artists.
Arun Yogiraj has also sculpted the 28-ft-tall black granite statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose that is placed at India Gate.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had unveiled the statue in September last year. Satya Narayan Pandey of Rajasthan is chiselling the idol from white Makrana marble stones.