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Bringing the Sun's Blessings: The Ingenious Surya Tilak Project at the Ram Mandir

On Ram Navami, the city of Lord Ram, Ayodha, witnessed the confluence between science, technology, and faith. The first Surya Tilak was performed on April 17, 2024, marking a historic day in Ayodhya and across the country. The Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), an autonomous body under the Department of Science & Technology, was the […]

Surya-Tilak-2
Surya-Tilak-2

On Ram Navami, the city of Lord Ram, Ayodha, witnessed the confluence between science, technology, and faith. The first Surya Tilak was performed on April 17, 2024, marking a historic day in Ayodhya and across the country. The Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), an autonomous body under the Department of Science & Technology, was the main stakeholder in the Surya Tilak Project, a wonderful event, i.e., the sun’s blessings on Ram Lalla’s forehead on this auspicious day.

The IIA's engagement in this initiative exemplified how scientific knowledge may be used to protect and enhance our cultural heritage. As the Ram Mandir rises, the Surya Tilak will stand as a symbol of the eternal connection between the earthly and the heavenly, a tribute to Lord Ram's timeless heritage.

The position of the sun shifts each year as the English calendar date of the Ram Navami changes according to the lunar calendar. For this unique problem, the expertise of the IIA was required. The IIA team methodically computed the calendar days of Ram Navami over a 19-year cycle, keeping note of the sun’s changing location in the sky. The detailed grasp of celestial movements laid the blueprint for the Surya Tilak Project. They built an optomechanical system to direct sunlight from the temple’s top to the forehead of Lord Ram Lalla’s idol. This system requires the placement of the lens and mirrors, carefully calibrated to ensure that sunlight falls on the idol.

As the temple is still in the construction phase, IIA experts make their design in a way that can fit the existing structure and the Surya to be implemented. But the team's work did not end there. They precisely built an opto-mechanical system to direct sunlight from the temple's top to the forehead of Sri Ram Lalla's idol. This sophisticated system required the perfect placement of mirrors and lenses, and after that, the Idol was lit up for 3 minutes, around 12.

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Ram NavamiSurya Tilak