The Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, despite all the years of acrimony between Hindus and Muslims, is to have a Muslim connection in keeping with Uttar Pradesh’s famed syncretic traditions.
Makrana Marble Company is one of the many firms that have been given orders to carve the marble for the temple. The firm belongs to a Muslim from Rajasthan.
Sharad Sharma, the VHP spokesperson based in Ayodhya said, “The owners of the firm were delighted to receive the order. The owner Ramzan bhai said it was his good fortune to be involved in the construction and it was a matter of great pride that their art would be dedicated to Lord Ram.”
The marble used in the Ram Mandir comes from Makrana, a town in Rajasthan. It has been used to construct many iconic monuments, including the Taj Mahal in Agra and the Victoria Memorial in Kolkata. Its speciality is that it need not be subjected to any kind of treatment before carving and chiselling. The high percentage of calcium in the stone makes it resistant to water seepage and highly durable. A total of four lakh square feet of the stone is to be used in the construction of the temple.
Multiple firms have been contracted for carving the makrana marble. At the karyashala (workshop) of the Sri Ramjanmbhoomi Nyas, many carved pink sandstone pillars have waited for decades, braving rain and sun. When the Supreme Court judgment was announced, a cleaning operation was launched before they could be transported to the site of the mandir.
The makrana marble would be used in the garb griha (sanctum sanctorum) of the Temple. The aim is to complete it by Makar Sankranti in 2024. Pink sandstones from Bansi Paharpur (Rajasthan) and granite from Karnataka are the other stones that would be used in the construction of the Ram Mandir.