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Understanding engineering marvel behind Surya Tilak that illuminated Ram Lalla Idol at Ayodhya

This feat, achieved through cutting-edge scientific expertise, marks a significant milestone in the intersection of science, engineering, and spirituality

Written by  Jasleen Kaur -- April 17th 2024 02:51 PM
Understanding engineering marvel behind Surya Tilak that illuminated Ram Lalla Idol at Ayodhya

Understanding engineering marvel behind Surya Tilak that illuminated Ram Lalla Idol at Ayodhya

PTC Web Desk: In a remarkable display of innovation and tradition, the grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya witnessed a historic event on the auspicious occasion of Ram Navami. A unique phenomenon, known as 'Surya Tilak', graced the forehead of the revered Ram Lalla idol, illuminated by a precisely engineered beam of sunlight. This feat, achieved through cutting-edge scientific expertise, marks a significant milestone in the intersection of science, engineering, and spirituality.

'Surya Tilak' ceremony
Commissioned by the temple trust, a team of esteemed Indian scientists collaborated to devise a sophisticated apparatus to facilitate the 'Surya Tilak' ceremony. Led by Dr Pradeep Kumar Ramacharla, Scientist and Director at the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee, this innovative mechanism is officially termed the 'Surya Tilak mechanism'. The intricate opto-mechanical system consists of mirrors and lenses meticulously arranged to redirect sunlight onto the idol's forehead.



Dr Ramacharla elucidates the inner workings of the opto-mechanical system, revealing its complexity and precision. Four mirrors and four lenses, integrated into the tilt mechanism and piping systems, play a pivotal role in directing sunlight towards the Garbha Griha (inner sanctum). The final lens and mirror focalise the sun rays onto the east-facing forehead of Shree Ram. An infrared filter glass, strategically positioned at the aperture, mitigates the Sun's heat waves from affecting the idol's forehead. The use of high-quality materials ensures durability and long-term sustainability of the mechanism.

Collaborative Efforts

The development of the 'Surya Tilak' mechanism is the result of collaboration between scientists from CBRI, Roorkee, and the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIAP), Bengaluru. Leveraging expertise in astronomy and engineering, the team employed special gearboxes, reflective mirrors, and lenses to align sunlight rays with precision. Technical support from IIAP and manufacturing expertise from Optica, a Bengaluru-based company, further facilitated the project's execution.

Dr Pradeep Chauhan, Scientist at CBRI, reassured the flawless execution of the 'Surya Tilak' ceremony, emphasising meticulous planning and attention to detail. The team implemented intricate arrangements, involving 19 gears, to ensure the timely occurrence of the ritual on Ram Navami, aligning with the lunar calendar. Remarkably, the mechanism operates without electricity, batteries, or iron-based components, relying solely on mechanical precision.

The Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru, contributed its expertise in positional astronomy to reconcile the disparity between lunar and solar calendars. Dr Annapurni Subramaniam, Director of IIA, highlights the application of astronomical principles to ensure the ceremonious anointment of Ram Lalla idol with the Sun's rays on every Ram Navami.

- With inputs from agencies

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