The celebrated temple trust of Patna Hanuman Mandir, which is called Mahavir Mandir, in this part of the country, is going to build a magnificent temple which is now named Viraat Ramayan Mandir at Angkor Nagar near Kesaria which boasts of the tallest Buddhist stupa in the world. The name has been changed from Viraat Angkor Wat Ram Mandir to Viraat Ramayan Mandir to respect the sentiments of the Cambodian people and to highlight the importance of the eternal epic Ramayan. All major incidents of Ramayan will be presented in the temple premises either in the sanctum sanctorum or in the galleries which will have the electronic gadgets brought from Spain for the purpose. The place is hallowed by the arrival of Shri Ram and Janaki while they were returning from Janakpur to Ayodhya after their marriage.
It is located at a distance of 60 Kms from Vaishali, where dawned the first republic of the world and at a distance of 120 Kms. from Patna, the capital of Bihar.
Here the Temple Trust has acquired 110 acres of land and therefore the earlier site of Islampur near Hajipur has been abandoned.
Now the site plan of the temple shown in the map covers an area 2800 ft. in length and 1400 ft. in width. This area of the temple comes to 90 acres of land. The length of the main temple itself is 1240 ft. in length, 1150 ft. in width. The height of the shikhar (spire) will be 270 ft. Thus it will be the largest temple in the world in all dimensions i.e. length, width and height. The architectural plan of the Ramayan Mandir is finalized with the consultation of Shri Piyush Sompura of Ahmadabad who is the architect of the temple. Sompuras of Ahmadabad are traditional architects of temples since centuries.
The proposed temple has taken the design of spires from the Angkor Wat but it has 13 shikhars whereas the original Angkor Wat temple has got only 9 spires. The proposed temple follows the layer pattern prevalent in the South-East Asian temple instead of floor pattern prevalent in our country. In addition, it will incorporate some features of Ramesvaram and Madurai temple also.
Despite the fact that the length, width and height of the proposed Viraat Ramayan Mandir will be more than the present Angkor Wat temple, the idea is not to supersede the grandeur of the present Angkor Wat temple. No structure in the present time can beat the beauty of the most splendid monument created by the skill of mankind. Our idea is to construct the largest Hindu temple with the tallest spire in the world. Therefore, the competition is not with the Cambodian temple, but with other Hindu temples in the country and abroad.
The temple trust of Mahavir Mandir, which has spent almost one hundred crore rupees on the establishment of charitable institutions like Mahavir cancer Sansthan and has saved lives of thousands of infants by the establishment of a pediatric hospital will execute this project of three hundred crores within a period of ten years. Now all the structures and spires will be built with the Chunar stones which Emperor Ashok had used in his inscriptions and pillars instead of the concrete planned earlier.
When this project is contemplated, it will cement further the strong bond between the two culturally rich countries India and Cambodia. This strong bond has existed between the two countries for a period of two millennia. There are numerous Sanskrit inscriptions found in Cambodia. The beauty of the language of some inscriptions is so charming that few Sanskrit inscriptions in India can excel them. Here one such inscription of King Yashovarman who ruled from 889 to 900 A.D. is quoted. In this marvellous and elegant verse he compares the protection of his capital Kambupuri with that of Ayodhya which was protected by Rãma.
सुमन्त्रसुहृदं सीताभूषणां सुविभीषणाम्।
जुगोप यः कम्बुपुरीमयोध्यामिव राघवः।
i.e. He (Yashovarman) protected Kambupuri like Rãma protected Ayodhya with the wise counsel of his well wishing friends (sumantra-suhridam) with brilliant friend as his ornament (sita-bhushanãm) and was awe-inspiring to his enemies as being subibhishanam.
King Yashovarman took pride in comparing himself with Rãma, the ideal incarnation of Bhagawan Vishnu. Now we are taking pride in following the style of the Angkor Wat. So Cambodian people should be happy that there stands a matchless, marvellous monument in their country which has inspired some devotees in India to follow the architectural plan of the original temple, although it is a fact that no religious monument can match the marvel of Angkor Wat temple.
The proposed temple is unique in many respects. There is no Ramayan temple in the world. The architectural design of the spires of the largest Hindu temple i.e. Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia has not been followed in any temple in India. There is no temple in the world where in one sanctum sanctorum Shri Ram, Sita, Lava-Kush and Maharshi Valmiki have been placed.
In the addition, the temple premise will have the largest Shivalinga in one of its sanctum sanctorum. There will be many Sanskar Mandaps, meditation (Dhyan) conference halls and other allied services will be provided.
After the construction of the temple Mahavir Mandir trust which has established four charitable hospitals in Patna will establish a school where the students below the poverty line will be imparted free education. In addition, it will establish a charitable hospital which will be the branch of cancer and paediatric hospitals run by the temple trust in Patna
4. Replica of important and magnificent monuments
Here it will not be out of place to mention that replicas of important and magnificent monuments are not a recent phenomenon. The famous Mahabodhi temple, Bodh-gaya which is the most revered site for the Buddhists throughout the world has been replicated at least 10 times. Following is the list:
1. Shwedagon Pagoda, (Mahabodhi Paya) Yangon, Burma
2. Mahabodhi Temple, Bagan, Burma
3. Wat Chet Yot, Chiang Mai, Thailand
4. Mahabuddha Temple, Patan, Nepal
5. Wat Pai Rong Wa, Thailand
6. Kotahena Pagoda, Sri Lanka
7. Wat Nong Bua, Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand
8. Mahabodhi World Peace Buddha Temple, Bangalore, India
9. Linh Son Temple, Kushinagar, India
10. Wat Florida Dhammaram, USA
India funded China in making a partial replica of the famous Sanchi stupa of India in Henan province of China. The then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee participated in the function.
Bangla Desh has already made a replica of Tajmahal at Sonargaon near Dhaka. No one has objected to the erection of another Tajmahal in a neighbouring country.
There is no copyright anywhere in the world for any monument even declared a world heritage site. All the three monuments mentioned above are declared world heritage sites by UNESCO. Even the Angkor Wat temple has been replicated in Java. Some archaeologists claim that Angkor Wat temple is influenced by Masrur temple of Himachal in India. But I don’t agree because Angkor Wat temple is the most marvellous monument ever made by mankind.
It is the matter of great gratification that the proposed Viraat Angkor Wat Ram Mandir has got world wide publicity within a very short period of time. The following publications have come to our notice and deserve special thanks. http://www.mahavirmandirpatna.org/newslinks.html